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'Grand Départ' Of 2018 Women's Tour Coming To Suffolk

Suffolk will host the opening leg of the 2018 Women's Tour cycling race, with the world's best cyclists starting off the five day race in Framlingham. 

On Wednesday 13th June, the peloton of over 100 riders will pass through Wickham Market, Woodbridge, Ipswich, Stowmarket, and Halesworth before reaching the finishing line 130km later in Southwold.

The race will be fought between 17 teams, including Storey Racing, which was launched by Britain's most successful ever female Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey.

Cllr Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Health, said: "We are delighted to be hosting the opening stage of this year's OVO Energy Women's Tour, welcoming the tour back to Suffolk for a fourth year.

"The race will showcase Suffolk's heritage and iconic landmarks, bringing major investment into the county. It will also encourage more people to take up cycling and live a more active and healthy lifestyle, contributing to our ambition to make Suffolk England's most active county."

Its the fourth time the race has visited Suffolk, and this year's stage will finish just yards from where the race was started on Southwold's promenade in 2016.

The route riders will follow on the 13th June

Race Director Mick Bennett said: "We are delighted that the Grand Départ of the 2018 OVO Energy Women's Tour will take place in Suffolk, a county that has enthusiastically supported the race since the inaugural edition four years ago.

"Upon departing Framlingham, this stage will take in many roads that have featured in both the Women's Tour and OVO Energy Tour of Britain in recent years, while the finish on Southwold's North Parade looks tailor-made for a fast and thrilling bunch sprint.”

Local authorities have said they will work with schools and communities along the route to help them celebrate and make the most of the Tour passing through.

Cycling fans will also have the chance to ride the route two weeks later, in the OVO Energy Tour Ride sportive event on the 1st July, held in support of charity Breast Cancer Care. 

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