Suffolk’s communities gearing up to celebrate the return of the Women’s Tour
The OVO Energy Women’s Tour set to return to Suffolk next week for its fifth visit.
With the OVO Energy Women’s Tour set to return to Suffolk next week for its fifth visit to the county, local communities are gearing up ready for the start of the race.
There are plenty of activities taking place along the route of the tour this weekend, in the lead up to the first stage of the race on Monday 10th June, including The Beccles Cycling Festival and a host of family activities in Stowmarket such as bike rides and walking trails.
Find a list of the activities taking place this weekend at the end of this page.
On race-day, Monday 10th June, the festivities will kick off in Beccles from 8.30am, where Pupils from local schools will be welcoming the Teams on to the Podium, ahead of a community ride out and the start of the race at 10.30am.
The race will then travel across East Suffolk, Mid Suffolk, and the West of the county, taking in Halesworth, Framlingham (the start location of last year’s race), Eye and Bury St Edmunds, before finishing in Stowmarket at approximately 2.30pm. Local sports and community clubs will be offering free sessions and hospitality along the route, and schools along the route will be out to support the race as it passes through their village.
Prior to the race finishing in Stowmarket, there will also be bunting on display around the Market Place and in shop windows, which will include artwork created by children from local primary schools. The Mayor will choose three winners from the artwork displayed, who will then be presented with a prize on stage on the day of the Stage 1 finish. A walking trail has also been created in Stowmarket, using pink and purple wooden bikes created by local community group, The Men’s Shed. The bicycles are on display now across the town.
Councillor James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Health, said:
"It’s great to see the communities of Suffolk coming out and supporting the race. The events and activities going on right across the county showcase our beautiful county, the amazing community spirit, and provide lots more opportunities for residents to get active, contributing to our ambition of being the most active county in England.”
In its four previous visits to Suffolk, the OVO Energy Women’s Tour is estimated to have attracted in excess of 250,000 spectators to the roadside and created a net economic impact for the county’s economy of in excess of £3.5 million.
Councillor Letitia Smith, East Suffolk's cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism said:
“We are very much looking forward to once again welcoming the OVO Energy Women’s Tour to East Suffolk. This event is always popular with our residents and local businesses are already getting into the spirit with some amazing window displays. We know our communities will be out in force on Monday to show their support as these world-class riders race through our district.”
Councillor Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk District Council Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“We’re really lucky in Suffolk to have such an active community, with lots of groups getting into the community spirit for the tour in a number of different ways. The race stages a perfect opportunity for our businesses and residents to showcase what we have to offer in Mid Suffolk and for visitors to explore a little of what makes it such a special place. Whether you take part in an event or watch the action from the side-lines, I hope you feel inspired to grab a bike and give cycling a go!”
Events taking place over the weekend
Stowmarket Walking Trail Stowmarket
Town Council has created a walking trail around Stowmarket with pink and purple wooden bikes which have been made by local community groups.
As well as promoting health and well-being, this is trail is ideal for discovering more about Stowmarket and some of the fantastic offerings we have here in the town, whilst getting active by walking. Each bike has key facts about the location in which it is based, and they have created a map with an interactive questionnaire for people to get involved and find out more about the offerings in Stowmarket. Maps can be picked up from the Town Council offices, or at www.stowmarket.org.
The bikes were made by local community group, The Men's Shed. They are based on Needham Road and are group who serve to connect the community whilst doing woodwork.
Stowmarket and District Cycle Club family ride - Saturday 8 June
Stowmarket Rugby Club, Chilton Way, Stowmarket, IP14 1SZ. Arrive from 9.00am.
Stowmarket and District Cycle Club will be hosting a family fun ride on Saturday 8th June.
Cyclists will have the option to take part in one of three distances – 5 miles departing at 11:00am, 10 miles departing at 10:30am or 20 miles departing at 10:00am. The rides will start and finish at Stowmarket Rugby Club and registrations for the rides will take place 30 minutes before each ride departs. There will be teas & coffees available from 9am and also food & drink refreshments available after the riders return.
Stowmarket Striders family trail run – Sunday 9 June
Red Gables, Ipswich Road, Stowmarket, IP14 1BE.
Open to runners, walkers and dog walkers alike, participants will be able to tackle this family trail run at any time between 10am and 11am. Routes will be provided on the day by written instructions; a £2 charity donation will go towards Breast Cancer Care.
Beccles Cycling festival – Sunday 9th June
New Market, Beccles. Arrive from 8.30am.
This is the first time Beccles has hosted the Women’s Tour and to commemorate the event, a special festival will be held on Sunday 9 June.
To start the day, the 7th annual Beccles Triathlon begins at 8.30am at Beccles Lido and will feature seasoned and novice triathletes. Once the last triathletes have crossed the finish line, everyone is invited to come up to the town centre for the festival, taking place between 12pm and 4pm in and around New Market.
There will be live music from The Larks, Distant Sun and Cameron Taylor, an opportunity to have a go on a mobile skate-park and displays from freestyle bike team, Savage Skills. There will a variety of stalls from the local community including Suffolk Police, Great Yarmouth Cycle Club, East Suffolk Council, Snap Fitness and Ultimate Boxing and also a mini food market.
It is also hoped that some of the professional Women’s Tour teams will be in attendance, ahead of the first day of the race - which forms part of the prestigious UCI Women’s WorldTour series.
Find out more about Beccles Triathlon at www.becclestri.com
Events taking place on Race Day (Monday 10th June)
Beccles Launch event
New Market, Beccles. From 8.30am.
The launch event will feature a welcome address by East Suffolk Council and Beccles Town Council, pupils from local schools welcoming teams to the podium and a local community ride out, ahead of the pro-riders, leading out Stage One of the Women’s Tour race.
Thornham Magna Bowls Club
Gislingham Road, Thornham Magna, Eye, IP23 8HH
Arrive from 11:45am. Estimated race arrival time: 12.32pm
Join members of Thornham Magna Bowls Club to watch the race pass by. Open from 11.45 on race day, guests can enjoy tea and biscuits before catching the world’s best riders in action.
Walsham Sports Club
8 Summer Rd, Walsham le Willows, Bury St Edmunds, Bury Saint Edmunds, IP31 3AH
Estimated race arrival time: 12.52pm.
Activities from 8.45am until 2pm.
Head to Walsham Sports Club on Monday 10 June to enjoy a free taster session of walking netball and some brunch. Guests will be driven a short distance to watch the race pass through the village, followed by Pimms upon their return to the club!
The day’s timetable will be as follows:
- 8.45 for 9am: 10 or 20-mile country cycle ride (booking essential, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07874 852935)
- 10am: Turn up and play walking netball sessions
- 11am to 12pm brunch
- 12.30pm: Transport to viewing points to watch the race
- 2pm: Return to club for Pimms and depart
Stowmarket Estimated race arrival time: 2.34pm
Breast Cancer Care Fundraising Lawn Event - Stowmarket Town Council
Stowmarket Town Council Offices, Milton House, Milton Rd South, Stowmarket IP14 1EZ
From 11:30am to 1:30pm.
There will be a range of activities at the event, including smoothie bikes, a bake sale with cakes provided by the Stowmarket WI, a scented flower wall to take memorable selfies in front of, arts & crafts to create cycling jerseys, ‘pic ‘n’ mix’ sweets.
The Regal Cinema – Stowmarket
Stowmarket Town Council Offices, Milton House, Milton Rd South, Stowmarket IP14 1EZ.
The Regal cinema will be showing free screenings of Stanley’s War and Life on the Deben between 12pm and 3pm. There is no need to book for this showing, just turn up!
They will also be showing a free screening of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PG) at 3:45pm. Seats will need to be booked in advance and can be booked directly from The Regal or by booking at www.regalstowmarket.co.uk.
The Blossom Charity workshops
The Mix, 127 Ipswich St, Stowmarket IP14 1BB.
There will be two workshops, running from 11:30am to 1pm and 6.30pm to 8pm.
The workshop is called Building your Confidence where they will look at strengths, understand confidence and what impacts it, and learn techniques to boost or recharge confidence when knocked.
The Mix will also be involved on the day with Cabbages & Kings providing refreshments outside the front of the Mix, with a cold brew coffee bike and ice creams. They will be providing a reduced menu and barista coffee in the coffee shop and a BBQ in their rear garden.
Stradbroke Community Centre
Wilby Road, Eye IP21 5JN.
From 6pm to 8pm After the stage is over, visit Stradbroke Community Centre and Fields for a night of fun and food. All activities are completely free, featuring a puppet theatre and scooters! BBQ food will also be on offer.
Eye Open Air Cinema – Free Screening of the Greatest Showman
Community Centre Fields, 25 Magdalen Street, Eye, IP23 7AJ.
The outdoor cinema at Eye Community Centre playing Field will be showing The Greatest Showman, Monday 10th June.
Film starts 6.30pm. Free entry, bar will be open from 6pm.
Everyone welcome, bring a blanket and picnic and enjoy the evening. For any more information please contact Eye Community Centre. 01379 873475.