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Tour of Britain to come through Norwich

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:27 01 July 2010

Mary Hamilton

Schools, clubs and communities across Norfolk have been urged to get involved in an iconic sporting event this September.

Schools, clubs and communities across Norfolk have been urged to get involved in an iconic sporting event this September.

Norfolk is to host the sixth stage of the elite Tour of Britain cycle race on September 16, with 100 riders from 10 countries competing along a 117-mile course from Kings Lynn to Great Yarmouth.

An animated film showcasing Norfolk's scenic countryside has been created to promote the event, which could boost the county's economy by £1.5m in tourism revenue if the effect of the race in Somerset is reproduced in Norfolk.

Norfolk County Council hopes the animated film showing iconic landmarks along the route will prove an innovative and unique way to build excitement about the event.

At a launch last night Deputy leader Derrick Murphy said: “The route through Norfolk is the longest there has ever been, because it is so flat, and it goes through some beautiful countryside - it's a wonderful opportunity to show off our county to the rest of the world.

“We have had to find a couple of hill climbs at Kelling and Holt, but for the most part we expect it to be a very fast stage with lots of sprinting.

“By the sixth stage it should begin to be clear who the leaders are, so we hope it will be a very exciting race.”

About 70,000 people are expected to turn out to watch the Norfolk stage, and the council is urging everyone near the route to get involved with the event and use it as an opportunity to promote health, sport and the county's culture.

County council leader Daniel Cox said: “Not only is Britain's biggest live spectator sport event coming to Norfolk for the first time, but this is the first time the race has come to the East of England in this form.

“This is an impetus for a celebration of all that is good about our county.”

Mari Martin, head of arts at the council, said: “We want to encourage everyone to think about what they could do to get involved, whether that's putting bunting out, lining the route or even holding cream teas to coincide with the race.

“We're saying to everyone, just do what you're good at and what you enjoy.”

Local groups are already planning to get involved by hosting events, decorating the route and greeting the cyclists on their way.

Pop concerts are planned in Kings Lynn and Sheringham, along with events at Brancaster, Blickling Hall and Sheringham Hall.

Libraries along the route are hosting basic road safety classes for young cyclists, and schools wishing to get involved can get information packs from the county council.

The launch last night also celebrated cycling in Norfolk, with playful entertainment as cyclists competed to be the first to generate enough electricity to squirt each other with water.

There was a musical performance played on instruments made from recycled bicycle parts, stunt BMX riding, a competition to guess the weight of a racing bike, and teams from various Norfolk districts racing on static bikes.

For more information about the Norfolk leg of the route visit www.tourofbritain.norfolk.gov.uk.

To watch the animation online visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk.

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