Ipswich: Tour’s visit is huge boost for cycling

CYCLING enthusiasts have today claimed that the Tour of Britain’s kick-off in the town will provide a massive boost to the sport in Ipswich.

Members of the Ipswich Bicycle Club said the fact that the 2012 race is starting at the town’s Waterfront in September is a “great opportunity for the people of Ipswich”.

Jo Newstead, membership secretary for Ipswich Bicycle Club, said: “I’m really pleased that the Tour of Britain is coming to Ipswich and so are a great number of people within our club.

“It’s a great opportunity for the people of Ipswich and a wonderful chance for those interested in cycling to have it here on our own doorstep.

“As fuel prices increase, people are going to look for alternative ways of getting around so it’s certainly possible that more and more people will take up cycling.

“It’s also a fun and enjoyable way to get fit as well as spend time with the family.”

Ipswich Bicycle Club, which was set up in 1892 and is one of the oldest clubs in the eastern counties, aims to promote all aspects of cycling.

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The first stage of the Tour of Britain sets off from the Waterfront on September 9, when riders will head north east through Woodbridge, Leiston, Reydon and Lowestoft before crossing into Norfolk near Great Yarmouth.

They will then head towards Norwich, ending at the Royal Norfolk Showground.

Last year it is estimated the Tour of Britain brought business valued at about �850,000 to Suffolk but this year it is estimated to bring more than �1million to the local economy.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “This is magnificent news. It is a really fantastic opportunity to show off what we have at the Waterfront. I am very excited to hear the news.”

The Tour of Britain first visited Suffolk in 2010.

n What do you think about the event starting in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk