Districts gear up to celebrate world-class cyclists

Spectators of AJ Bell’s Women’s Tour can enjoy an array of community events in Babergh and Mid Suffolk, as riders race through the districts on Saturday 9 October.

Suffolk will host the final stage of the world-renowned race, seeing top cyclists embark on a 155km route from Haverhill to Felixstowe.

Riders are set to travel through Babergh from just before midday, with the district playing a pivotal role in the race. 

Glemsford has the honour of hosting one of Suffolk’s SKODA Queen of the Mountains climbs for the first time, where cyclists will compete for victory on the village’s challenging Skate’s Hill. 

To mark the occasion, The Morris Men of Little Egypt, Glemsford’s very own group of Morris Dancers, will perform on Tower Green. Spectators can also enjoy free family entertainment provided by Glemsford Library and refreshments on offer from the WI.

Cyclists will then make their way to Long Melford, which has once again been selected as one of the stage’s Eisberg Sprint locations.

The picturesque village will be embracing the tour’s pink, white and bike theme and has plenty planned to celebrate – including live music, food and drinks stalls and a charity static bicycle ride on the green – while its church bells will be ringing out throughout the day to add to the carnival atmosphere.  

After travelling through Long Melford, the peloton will pass via Sudbury at around 12.15pm, with further information about planned events available on Sudbury Town Council’s website.

Riders will then race through Mid Suffolk, entering Stowmarket just before 1.15pm. Those feeling inspired by the world-class cyclists, can participate in family sporting activities provided on the Recreational Ground by Premier Sports and Everyone Active.

Residents and visitors to the market town can also benefit from events planned for its Time Machine festival, celebrating Stowmarket’s past, present and future. 

In addition, the tour’s community partner, The Blossom Charity, will be offering a free confidence building workshop at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre on the morning of the race, for anyone looking to find their feet after the challenges posed by Covid-19. 

Needham Market will then host the stage’s second and final Eisberg Sprint, with the bonus seconds up for grabs potentially deciding the tour’s ultimate winner. 

The town’s businesses will be lending their support by offering discounts on food and drink, and spectators can combine watching the tour with a visit to Needham Lake, ranked the UK’s 12th most visited free attraction in 2020.

Cllr Derek Davis, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for communities commented: “I am absolutely delighted that Babergh will play such an important part in this year’s tour, with both the Eisberg Sprint and Queen of the Mountains challenge taking place in our district and riders racing down the runway at Wattisham Flying Station. 

“It’s great to see that our communities plan to be out in full force and I’m pleased that our council has funded some of the planned activities – enabling the tour to be a full filled day out for the whole family to enjoy.”

Cllr Harry Richardson, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: The tour brings with it fantastic health and wellbeing benefits – not only will it inspire many Mid Suffolk residents to take up cycling, but spectators in Stowmarket can also participate in a range of council funded sporting activities, or soak up culture at the town’s Time Machine Festival. 

“Our district is incredibly fortunate to host the tour’s nail-biting final Eisberg Sprint in Needham Market, and I hope that our residents take up this exciting opportunity to cheer on some of the world’s top cyclists.”

Spectator information can be found on the Women’s Tour website, with a full list of what’s on in Babergh and Mid Suffolk available on the councils’ website

The race is also expected to be a significant boost for businesses in both districts, with Suffolk’s six previous stages delivering a net economic impact of more than £5.3m for the county’s economy. Local businesses can visit the Women’s Tour website to find out how to capitalise on the tour and the visitors this is expected to bring to the county.

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“Unconstrained Retrospective – Defying Categorisation” I’m delighted to announce an exciting inaugural major solo exhibition in Suffolk, featuring original oil paintings and limited-edition Giclee Prints.


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