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Women’s Tour to return to Suffolk this June with 130km cycle race from Framlingham to Southwold

PUBLISHED: 16:30 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:37 07 March 2018

The 2018 Tour will kick off in Framlingham on June 13. Picture: OVO ENERGY WOMEN'S TOUR 2017

The 2018 Tour will kick off in Framlingham on June 13. Picture: OVO ENERGY WOMEN'S TOUR 2017

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Over 100 of the world’s top cyclists will return to race across Suffolk this summer – and fans are being invited to ride part of the route for charity.

Elizabeth Armitstead pictured at the end of the Women's Tour when it came to Suffolk, finishing in Aldeburgh, in 2015. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Elizabeth Armitstead pictured at the end of the Women's Tour when it came to Suffolk, finishing in Aldeburgh, in 2015. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The OVO Energy Women’s Tour will start in Framlingham on June 13, and continue round to Ipswich and on to Southwold – home of the race sponsors Adnams – in a gruelling 130km route.

The opening stage to the UCI Women’s WorldTour race will see cyclists pass in a loop through Wickham Market, Woodbridge, Kesgrave, Needham Market and Stowmarket – back through Framlingham – then north through Dennington, Stradbroke and Halesworth.

A special sportive event will also be held two weeks after the race, on July 1, where members of the public can ride some of the route for charity. In aid of Breast Cancer Care, the route will start and finish in Southwold, and take in some of Suffolk’s most beautiful scenery.

Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health said: “We are delighted to be hosting the opening stage of this year’s Women’s Tour, welcoming the tour back to Suffolk for a fourth year.

“The race will showcase Suffolk’s heritage and iconic landmarks, bringing major investment into the county. It will also encourage more people to take up cycling and live a more active and healthy lifestyle, contributing to our ambition to make Suffolk England’s most active county.

“It will be an event that everyone can celebrate and enjoy.”

The Women’s Tour is set to bring an estimated £2m to the region in profits from tourism, according to Suffolk County Council.

Mr Goldson added that hotel stays, local spending and even increased use of paid car parking facilities will contribute to a multi-million pound boost for the economy.

Over 100 of the worlds top cyclists will pass through Wickham Market, Woodbridge, Stowmarket, any many other key locations in Suffolk. Picture: THEO SOUTHEE PHOTOGRAPHY/OVO ENERGY WOMEN'S TOUR 2017 Over 100 of the worlds top cyclists will pass through Wickham Market, Woodbridge, Stowmarket, any many other key locations in Suffolk. Picture: THEO SOUTHEE PHOTOGRAPHY/OVO ENERGY WOMEN'S TOUR 2017

TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s cabinet member for customers, communities and leisure, and Michael Ladd, Waveney District Council’s cabinet member for economic development and tourism said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the Women’s Tour to the area once again, particularly as we will be hosting both the start and finish of the opening stage in east Suffolk.

“This popular event brings many visitors to our region and provides a real boost to the local economy. As always, we will be working closely with local communities, businesses and schools to get them involved with tour-related activities.”

Race Director Mick Bennett said: “We are delighted that the Grand Départ of the 2018 Women’s Tour will take place in Suffolk, a county that has enthusiastically supported the race since the inaugural edition four years ago. Upon departing Framlingham, this stage will take in many roads that have featured in both the Women’s Tour and OVO Energy Tour of Britain in recent years, while the finish on Southwold’s North Parade looks tailor-made for a fast and thrilling bunch sprint.”

Claire Pulford, Head of Events at Breast Cancer Care added: “It is particularly exciting for Breast Cancer Care to be involved in this year’s OVO Energy Tour Ride. More than 500 people in Suffolk will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and the funds raised from the Tour Ride will help our charity continue to support and make a positive difference to these people and the lives of the thousands of people facing breast cancer in the UK.”

This year, members of the public will be invited to ride part of the route to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. Picture: OVO ENERGY WOMEN'S TOUR 2017 This year, members of the public will be invited to ride part of the route to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. Picture: OVO ENERGY WOMEN'S TOUR 2017

The Women’s Tour will be broadcast daily in a 1-hour TV highlights programme on ITV4 and Eurosport.

For further details, including how to enter, go to: www.womenstour.co.uk/about/tourride.

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