Road closures, maps and timings for the Tour of Britain in Norwich and Norfolk

The Tour of Britain 2011 cycle race passing through Reepham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The Tour of Britain 2011 cycle race passing through Reepham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

The roadsides will be lined, the bunting will be proudly hung and decorative bicycles will be placed along the route this Saturday as Norfolk celebrates the return of the Tour of Britain to our region.

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Now, with the added appeal of former Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins confirmed to take part, the Tour is set to attract scores of spectators as it travels from Fakenham Racecourse on Saturday through locations including Guist, Reepham, Cawston, Aylsham and Hellesdon on its way to Ipswich.

The 120-strong peloton of riders will set off from Fakenham Racecourse at about 10am for a neutralised start.

The race will then start properly at Guist.

Approximate timings from then on are: Reepham and Cawston 10.35am to 10.45am; Aylsham 10.50am to 11am; King of the Mountains, between Hevingham and Stratton Strawless on the A140, 10.55am to 11.10am; and Hellesdon 11.10am to 11.25am.


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Stuart Clancy, portfolio holder for economic development at Broadland District Council, said: 'We are really pleased the Tour is returning to Broadland this year.

'It will be of great benefit to our businesses and residents along the route and is of great value to the district to be part of this prestigious event. We hope to see a large turnout on the day and a real buzz in Broadland in the lead-up to the Tour of Britain.'

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Community events are taking place at several points along the route on the day. Cawston is gearing up for the event with its very own Tour series.

Taking place from today until Friday, from 5.30pm until 6.30pm, people of all ages are welcome to see who can get around the village playing field the fastest in the Tour of Cawston.

On Saturday, there will be a cycle event fun day at Cawston Village Hall from 10am until 2pm.

The normal Saturday market road closures in Aylsham will be in place, but a marquee with vintage racing bikes and a penny farthing will replace the market.

Those heading to Reepham to watch the Tour will also get the chance to see artists from Norwich-based Moosey Art doing some live art on canvas on The Original Cottage Company building.

There are also Broadland District Council's Tour-themed baby gorillas, which are dressed ready for the race in Reepham and Aylsham.

Norwich and south Norfolk

As the colourful kaleidoscope of riders dashes through Norwich city centre, between 11.08am and 11.34am, they will hurtle up Grapes Hill, zoom past Guildhall and race by Norwich Market.

The Tour's visit to the city will coincide with the Norfolk and Norwich Food Festival which will see a two-day extravaganza at Chapelfield Gardens.

Meanwhile, support for the race in Wymondham, which welcomed the race in 2011, will be bigger and better than ever.

The cycling stars are set to pedal into the town at about 11.50am. Rachael Mold, one of the organisers of events in Wymondham, said: 'There will be a pedal-powered smoothie bike, a Scalectrix bike and a balloon-blowing bike to try, cycle challenges to test cycle maintenance skills and local cycle groups to talk to. The town itself will have flags flying, banners and bunting waving and cycle installations adding colour.'

Elsewhere, cycling fever has spread through Attleborough where more than 100 decorated bikes have sprung up in the town which will welcome the Tour just after midday.

And the internationally-televised event will be a showcase of Thetford as the riders zip down Norwich Road, Grove Lane, Melford Bridge Road, Castle Lane and Nuns' Bridges Road. There will be a family fun day at the green overlooking Nuns' Bridges, from 10.30am to 5pm, packed with cycling-themed activities.

Town councillor Stuart Wright said: 'It's not often you get a national sporting event coming through your town so hopefully the people of Thetford will come out and do Thetford justice.'

From Thetford, the riders will race along the A134 Bury Road into Suffolk, heading to Barnham and Elveden on their way to Ipswich.

•How is your community celebrating the arrival of the Tour of Britain? Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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