Expect rolling road blocks as The Women’s Tour hits the A12 in north Suffolk this morning
PUBLISHED: 08:55 15 June 2016 | UPDATED: 08:55 15 June 2016
Today the eyes of the cycling world will be firmly fixed on our region as the Aviva Women’s Tour gets under way.
Starting at 10am from Southwold, more than 90 elite female athletes will follow a 138-kilometre route through to Norwich.
The route will take in part of the A12 in Suffolk, and pass through Halesworth, Lowestoft and Beccles, before heading into Norfolk.
This year boasts the strongest rider line-up since the event was launched in 2014.
Around 15 of the world’s top 20 riders in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rankings are due to take part.
Speaking ahead of the race yesterday at Dunston Hall, defending tour champion Lisa Brennauer said: “We have had a look at the last 15 kilometres of the course and it looks to me like a pretty fast route.
“It is up and down and so we will be rolling pretty fast and then it has this tricky final bit.”
The opening stage across our region is said to suit sprinters, with the final 8km of the race into Norwich likely to be the most challenging.
Drivers have been warned to expect rolling road closures along the route until the peloton arrives in Norwich between 1.30pm and 2pm.
• See time guides here
Over the following four days the tour will continue across four other stages, finishing in Kettering on June 19.
Speaking about how she felt the opening stage would pan out, world champion and British favourite Lizzie Armitstead said: “The first day of a stage race, everyone is fresh, motivated and aggressive. They are generally fast and hard [races] and as it is flat around here that leads to a bunch sprint.”
Armitstead famously won the Suffolk stage of the race last year before she was involved in a nasty collision seconds after crossing the finishing line which ruled her out of the rest of the tour.
Highlights of the Aviva Women’s Tour will be shown each evening on ITV4 with a repeat the following morning on the same channel.
The highlights will also be available on demand for 30 days via the ITV Hub catch-up service.
Or see live updates here
For more information visit www.womenstour.co.uk