Britain's biggest bike race comes to Norwich
Chris Bishopwith panel on routeBritain's biggest bike race will pedal through Norwich for the first time after a 120-mile marathon around Norfolk's roads.Footage from the Tour of Britain will be beamed to more than 100 countries around the globe, when riders set off in September.Chris Bishop
Britain's biggest bike race will pedal through Norwich for the first time after a 120-mile marathon around Norfolk's roads.
Footage from the Tour of Britain will be beamed to more than 100 countries around the globe, when riders set off in September.
Up to a million spectators are expected to cram the roadsides for the eight-day event. Norfolk's coastline and countryside will be centre stage on Day Six - Thursday, September 16.
Setting off from King's Lynn's Tuesday Market Place, riders will pass through Norwich city centre on their way to the finishing line in Yarmouth.
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Some of the world's top riders will compete for the right to wear the hallowed yellow jersey, on a route which showcases Norfolk as a cycling destination.
Talks between race organisers and councils across Norfolk have been going on for 12 months. Derrick Murphy, deputy leader of the county council and its cabinet member for cultural services, said: "The potential benefits of hosting a stage of the Tour of Britain are huge - with our tourism industry and those in related trades particularly set to gain enormously from the regional, national and international attention that the Tour brings.
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"Whilst our landscape doesn't offer an upward climb of the Alps, the cyclists will have to cover a longer distance than any other leg of the Tour, and we've used the landscape that we do possess to come up with a challenging route.'
As well as the economic benefits the race will bring to Norfolk through increased tourism, officials hope the Tour will boost local interest in cycling and sport in general.
Norfolk County Council has pledged �175,000, with additional funding coming from West Norfolk, North Norfolk, Broadland, Norwich City and Yarmouth councils.
Hugh Roberts, chief executive of Tour of Britain, said: 'We are extremely pleased to be bringing the 2010 Tour of Britain to Norfolk. Our partners Norfolk County Council have provided us with the confidence that the stage in Norfolk will be challenging one for the riders and at the same time an exciting one for all the spectators.
'To be able to show what Norfolk has to offer to the huge cycling fanbase of Western Europe as a boost to cycling tourism in the region is an especially exciting prospect.'