West Suffolk prepares for arrival of Tour of Britain
Up to 8,000 people are expected to watch the OVO Energy ToB Stage Six set off from Newmarket at 10.45am Friday, September 8, while audiences worldwide follow the whole route live streamed by ITV4.
The route passes through Exning, Fordham, Worlington, Mildenhall, Icklingham, Lackford, Flempton, Hengrave, Fornham All Saints; Bury St Edmunds; Great Barton, and with the first Eisberg sprint in Ixworth, before leaving West Suffolk on its way to Aldeburgh.
Councillor Ruth Bowman, chairman of Forest Heath District Council, said:
‘There is a lot of excitement about the Tour returning to Suffolk. Forest Heath’s cycling credentials are pretty impressive but I don’t think that in any way prepares you for the thrill of the peloton coming through your village. You couldn’t get any closer to these world class competitors and whether you follow cycling or not, it is a truly memorable experience. I hope people make a note of the time the race is expected to reach them, and then go out to cheer them on.”
The High Street will be closed to traffic from 4am until the afternoon. Businesses have been preparing to make the most of the opportunities created by bringing the Tour to the town.
Councillor Lance Stanbury, Forest Heath Cabinet member for Planning and Growth said: “This is a tremendous, one-off, opportunity for business to seize the day to present their unique brands to a national and international audience of potential customers and visitors. Local partners, including Forest Heath District and Suffolk County councils, have worked hard to secure the hosting of this racing stage against great competition, specifically so our community and local economy can benefit.”
The 20 teams, race officials and the entourage of vehicles will line up behind a gantry and stage located outside the Jockey Club on the High Street, from where the riders will be presented to the crowds gathering up towards the clock tower. Those furthest from the stage can watch proceedings on large screen TVs provided by supporting stage partner Anglian Water.