East Anglia is ready for Tour of Britain

Action from the Royal Norfolk Showground, venue of the finish of Tour of Britain stage one in 2012.

Action from the Royal Norfolk Showground, venue of the finish of Tour of Britain stage one in 2012. Photo: Steve Adams

Let's make it a day to remember – that is the clarion call as East Anglia stands to benefit from a multi-million pound boost when the country's premier cycle race speeds through our region.

Hundreds of thousands of people are set to line the streets today to cheer on the professional riders taking part in the Tour of Britain.

Household names, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, form the 100-strong peloton of riders who will pedal their way through Norfolk and Suffolk's picturesque towns, villages and city.

They will set off from Fakenham Racecourse at 10am and cycle 227km to Ipswich. Today's stage marks the seventh and penultimate of the week-long event which started in Wales on Sunday. It is the first time the Tour has been to our counties in three years and today has been months in the planning.

Some 180,000 people lined the counties' streets in 2012 – and it is hoped even more will cheer on the biggest names in cycling today.

Ben Jones, director of Active Norfolk, said: 'We are so proud to welcome the Tour back to Norfolk, it's really exciting for the county to have such a prestigious event returning after a three year break.

'I know that the people of Norfolk appreciate high quality sport, and always get behind these major events which, as a county, we deliver so successfully. Supporters should be ready to enjoy what is going to be a spectacular event.'

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It is estimated that the Tour is worth some £3m to our economy.

The return of the race to our region has been made possible by Active Norfolk, Norfolk County Council, Suffolk County Council and Adnams, with support from district councils and Norwich City Council.

Peter Hodges, from organisers Sweetspot, said: 'We fondly remember the crowds at the roadside in Norfolk and Suffolk on stage one in 2012, and are sure that they will be even bigger this year.'

Don't miss our live coverage on our website and send your photos to iwitness.co.uk

There will be a special Tour of Britain 16-page pull-out in your paper on Monday.

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