Ipswich: Top cyclists get into gear for cycling extravaganza as Sky Ride and the UCS Ipswich and Coastal Grand Prix comes to town

The final stage of last year's Tour of Britain started at Ipsich's Waterfront. Team Sky's Mark Carve

The final stage of last year's Tour of Britain started at Ipsich's Waterfront. Team Sky's Mark Carvendish

The town is today gearing up for a cycling extravaganza.

World-class cyclists from across the UK will descend on Ipswich tomorrow as three spectacular events hit the streets of the county.

Hundreds are expected to jump into the saddle to take part in the UCS Ipswich and Coastal Grand Prix, the UCS Ipswich Coastal Giro d’Espresso and the Sky Ride.

Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council’s culture and leisure portfolio-holder, said: “This event shows Ipswich is fast becoming the place to be for UK riders and fans.

“Last year saw the start of the Tour of Britain take place on the Waterfront. And riders from Europe stormed to victory in the European Cyclo-Cross Championships in Chantry Park in the summer. And the continuing success of Sky Ride helps thousands of people get involved in cycling for both fun and fitness.”

And councillor Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s cabinet member responsible for leisure and economic development, added: “We were keen to support this event and are looking forward to welcoming elite riders to our area.

“Not only will it be an exciting spectacle for residents and visitors but it also helps to promote cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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“I hope we can encourage many people to come out and cheer the riders along a course which includes some of the most beautiful parts of our county.”

Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy gave his backing to the packed weekend.

He said: “Sky, British Cycling and the borough council are again bringing Sky Ride to Ipswich on Sunday.

“This year will see an entire weekend of cycling events, including elite racing, a sportive, and the Ipswich Sky Ride on Sunday.

“There’s something for everybody this year on the Ipswich Sky Ride weekend, don’t miss out.”

And Sky Ride ambassador and radio One DJ, Edith Bowman added: “I’m delighted to be involved with Sky Ride this summer and be part of the action for another year.

“It’s great to see so many people of all ages and abilities on their bikes, riding through traffic free streets and having a fun day out.”

For maps of the routes, timings and more, see our Cycle Ipswich page