The world’s top cyclists are set to speed their way through Norfolk and Suffolk today as the Aviva Tour of Britain returns to East Anglia.
Stage seven of the thrilling road race will start out at Fakenham Racecourse in north-west Norfolk at 10am before snaking its way south to the finishing line in Ipswich.
The gruelling 225 km course will see a world class peloton, featuring the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, compete in two King of the Mountains in Barking Tye and Brantham Hill and three dramatic sprints, in Fornham, Needham Market and down the 2,400-metre runway at Wattisham airfield.
The race is expected to reach Thetford at 12.30pm, and then Bury St Edmunds at around 1.30pm.
From there the race heads towards Stowmarket and Needham Market before the final push through Hadleigh and East Bergholt towards the dash for the line at 4.30pm in Ipswich.
Along the route, towns and villages are hosting events to make the most of their moment in the limelight.
In Thetford, from 10.30am to 3pm, a special event is being held at Nun’s Bridges including a barbecue, beer tent, exercise classes, games and cycle marking.
Bury St Edmunds’ Festival of Sport launches on Saturday to coincide with the tour’s arrival in the town with hundreds expected to fill Angel Hill to watch the trail of cyclists speed past.
The annual Drinkstone Fete takes place at the same time the tour passes by.
To mark the occasion, and to show no hard feelings, a special beer has been brewed in honour of Bradley Wiggins called Mutton Chop Ale - a nod to the Olympic champion’s renowned sideburns.
In Stowmarket, a special event is planned at the Recreation Ground including live music, give-aways, cycle security marking and a competition to win a new bike.
David Marsh, from Stowmarket Town Council, said: “It’s fantastic that a sporting event like the tour is coming through the town and we’ll all be able to get so close to the action.”
lFor a full preview of stage seven of the Tour of Britain check please see our eight page pull-out supplement in today’s paper.