Tour of Britain to bring big weekend of cycling to East Anglia

Cyclists have the chance to tackle the route of the first stage of the Tour of Britain just 24 hours before some of the world's top cycling names take to the roads of Norfolk and Suffolk.

The date of the Tour Ride East Anglia has been moved from July 22 to September 8 - the day before the Tour of Britain's grand depart in Ipswich.

Riders will have the choice of a Pro Ride event, replicating the entire 200-kilometre stage from Ipswich to the Norfolk Showground, while a shorter 92km Challenge Ride will take cyclists from Great Yarmouth to the showground finish.

The Adnams-supported first stage of the Tour of Britain will follow a day later, starting from Ipswich's waterfront and finishing on the showground at Costessey, near Norwich, giving participants in the Tour Ride the chance to stay on in the area and experience Britain's biggest professional cycle race.

Steven Reilly, spokesman for Norfolk County Council, said: 'The change of date for the Tour Ride works really well, as we are now able to offer a big weekend of cycling to the people of Norfolk and Suffolk on September 8 and 9.

'Members of the public taking part in the Tour Ride will get to ride the route, or part of the route, just 24 hours before the professional cyclists kick off day one of this year's Tour of Britain.

'The Tour of Britain has been so well supported in both Norfolk and Suffolk over recent years and I'm sure that this year will be no different, especially off the back of a hopefully successful Olympics for British cycling and with us combining the finish of the race with the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival at the Norfolk Showground.'

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Every Tour Ride entrant will receive a goody bag and a medal to commemorate their ride on the stage one route.

This year, no official charity has been nominated but people are being urged to ride in aid of a charity of their choice.

To celebrate the big weekend of cycling in East Anglia, anyone who signs up for the Tour Ride East Anglia before Thursday, July 12, will be able to claim 10 per cent off the cost of entry upon using the code 20RNS12 when registering.

To enter, go to www.tourride.co.uk.

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