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Ipswich: Excitement builds as the town prepares to host a bumper weekend of cycling events

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:57 29 August 2014

Cyclists ride through Ipswich during the Sky Ride last September

Cyclists ride through Ipswich during the Sky Ride last September

Archant

Excitement is building today as hundreds of cyclists young and old prepare to take over the streets of Ipswich as part of a bumper weekend of cycling in the town.

The Ipswich Cycling Weekend will kick off tomorrow and will offer a trio of two-wheeled events.

This includes the 200km Ipswich Coastal Grand Prix pro cycle race, the final grand prix race of the year, on Sunday, which will involve some of the UK’s top riders including former Team Sky star Russell Downing and last year’s winner Yanto Barker.

On the same day, the popular Sky Ride mass participation event will also give hundreds of people and families the chance to ride traffic-free routes around Ipswich.

Sports chiefs in the county hope the chance to witness races and to take part will encourage people to get their bikes out of the shed.

Keen cyclist and Ipswich Borough Council deputy leisure portfolio-holder, Alasdair Ross, said: “This is a great weekend for people of all abilities and all ages. I hope as many residents as possible will get on to two wheels and enjoy the two days – and get fitter in the process.

“And we want to see a lot of people cheering the cyclists on.”

Joseph Young, the project co-ordinator for Cycle Suffolk, which aims to promote the sport in Suffolk, added: “I would like to see a mish-mash of people from all walks of life, whether it is families, lone parents, older people or people by themselves. The great thing about the Sky Ride is that it is so social. People will be chatting to each other and sharing their experiences.

“There has also got to be an exit route and that is where projects like mine come in, people can link in with an activity or a local cycling club.”

During the weekend there will also be an event called the Crafted Classique taking place on Saturday, which gives keen cyclists the chance to see the Suffolk countryside, with food and drink on offer for participants

Tom Gillman, head of sales and marketing at Crafted, added: “We are really excited to sponsor the Ipswich Cycling Weekend and the Crafted Classique sportive. We have lots of keen cyclists at Crafted, so the team is looking forward to donning their jerseys and enjoying two days of great cycling events. It’s set to be a fantastic weekend.”

The grand prix, the final part of the British Cycling Elite Road Race series, is due to start from the UCS Waterfront building at 10.45am on Sunday and will finish in the same place at about 3.30pm.

The town centre will be free from traffic from 11am-3pm while the Sky Ride, which is free, takes place.

For information, to view routes, or to register for the Crafted Classique or Sky Ride, visit www.ipswichcyclingweekend.com

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