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Video/Gallery: Cycling legacy from Women’s Tour in region

PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 May 2014 | UPDATED: 14:44 13 May 2014

The Womens Tour cycling event finishes on Angel Hill in Bury.

The Womens Tour cycling event finishes on Angel Hill in Bury.

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It is hoped the Women’s Tour cycling race will leave a legacy in Suffolk and north Essex of more people getting on their bike whether for sport, commuting or pleasure.

The Women’s Tour, which was the country’s first ever international stage race for women, saw some of the world’s best riders pass through the region, including Marianne Vos who was named the outright winner.

The last stage of the five-stage race finished at Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.

Councillor Sara Mildmay-White, St Edmundsbury Borough Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “We estimate up to 6,000 people of all ages came to the finish line and seeing young riders, charity riders, club riders all together highlights how many opportunities there are in the borough to take up cycling.”

Councillor Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health and adult care, said: “I hope the buzz from the Women’s Tour inspires all those across Suffolk to consider cycling as an enjoyable mode of transport and a means to keep fit. This event and others in the future will assist us in our bid to become England’s most active county.”

Mick Hailstone, who owns Mick’s Cycles in St John’s Street, Bury, said he saw an increase in road bike sales in the week leading up to the event.

He said: “There are more people taking up cycling, definitely [as a result of the Women’s Tour].”

Business owners in Felixstowe have reported a growing interest in cycling among residents in the town, which the Women’s Tour has helped boost even further.

Richard Gardner, branch manager at Wilco Motor Spares in Undercliff Road West, said: “We are selling lots of bikes anyway but people have got more impetus because of events like these.

“The Olympic Games helped to begin with and now people are becoming more conscious of cycling and actually buying more bikes.”

Mr Gardner also welcomed the publicity generated by the event, which he says has helped “put Felixstowe on the map”.

Paul Rippon, membership secretary at Ipswich Bicycle Club, said there has been a general upturn in the number of women going cycling and that national coverage of the tour had promoted Suffolk and Ipswich.

He added: “With the tour going through at the weekend we are hoping there will be an increase in numbers.”

Tendring District Council (TDC) leader Mick Page said: “What a brilliant weekend and what a shot in the arm for Tendring and its tourism economy.

“The atmosphere with people banging on the boards at the finish in Clacton was truly electric.”

A top primary school in Martlesham Heath has been given Ofsted’s top rating of ‘outstanding’ in its latest inspection – the first time it achieved the benchmark rating in 50 years.

Women from Suffolk have described how their lives were rocked by “unfair” changes to pension laws.

A new road, which ran almost £5m over budget, faces fresh controversy after it emerged a council employee involved in the project also completed work for the road’s developers through his private company.

Two high-end cycles – worth £10,000 in total – were stolen after burglars broke into a garage in Elmsett, near Hadleigh.

Refugee and asylum seeking women living in Suffolk say getting to grips with the English language is one of the biggest challenges they face.

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

A century ago, in December 1917, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, one of the most famous residents of Aldeburgh, died, writes Dr Lucy Harvard.

A senior whistleblower within the region’s ambulance trust has claimed up to 80 people could have died or come to harm because of delays over the Christmas and New Year period.

A three-vehicle crash in Kesgrave this afternoon caused a road to be blocked for more than two hours.

A prolific shoplifter’s 148th offence was exposed by a price tag hanging from his clothing.

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