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Women's Tour cycling race to return to Suffolk this summer

PUBLISHED: 15:52 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:52 16 January 2020

The Captain of Cosco container ship, professional cyclist Sophie Wright and double Olympic medalist Mick Bennett  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Captain of Cosco container ship, professional cyclist Sophie Wright and double Olympic medalist Mick Bennett Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Top international cyclists are to return to Suffolk this summer after it was revealed the county is to host the final stage of The Women's Tour.

Suffolk has been announced as host for the final stage ofThe Women's Tour  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDSuffolk has been announced as host for the final stage ofThe Women's Tour Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The race begins in Haverhill, and will see racers tackle a course that finishes at one of Suffolk's iconic landmarks in the Port of Felixstowe.

The announcement was made aboard the Cosco Shipping Star, one of the world's largest container ships, at the port.

Suffolk has previously hosted stages of The Women's Tour in previous years.

James Reeder, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for public health and prevention, was part of the bid to bring the race back to the county.

Suffolk has been announced as this year's host for the Women's Tour  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDSuffolk has been announced as this year's host for the Women's Tour Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mr Reeder said: "Suffolk has been proactive in ensuring the event has come back.

"It's really exciting for us. It's been a really well-received event every time we've held it.

"I have seen first-hand how The Women's Tour and events like it inspire people to get involved in cycling events, such as Women on Wheels and the wide array of activities the county has to offer."

"It is always a much-celebrated event and I look forward to welcoming the tour back to Suffolk."

The Women's Tour is one of the most prestigious multi-stage cycling events in the world, with affiliations to international governing body UCI.

Suffolk has frequently played host to stages of the event since it was first held in 2014, including hosting the opening stage in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

The event has seen more than 250,000 people watch the races from roadsides in this period, helping to generate a net £5.3million for the Suffolk economy.

Mick Bennett and Sophie Wright on board the Cosco shipping container for the announcement of Suffolk hosting the Women's Tour Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDMick Bennett and Sophie Wright on board the Cosco shipping container for the announcement of Suffolk hosting the Women's Tour Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The seventh edition of the six-stage tour begins on Monday, June 8 before finishing with the Suffolk leg the following Saturday.

Mick Bennett, race director of The Women's Tour, said: "I think it will be absolutely unique to finish the race at the port.

"It's a great chance to promote women in the industry.

"We look forward to working with all our partners in Suffolk to make the final stage of this year's Women's Tour another incredible success."

The stages have taken place all throughout Suffolk over the years Picture: ARCHANTThe stages have taken place all throughout Suffolk over the years Picture: ARCHANT

Horsford professional cyclist Sophie Wright, who will be competing in the tour for Bigla-Katusha, said: "For Suffolk to be on the map every year with this event is great for East Anglia."

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