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Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 17:41 UK
Tour of Britain heads to Norfolk
The London stage of the 2008 Tour of Britain (Photo: BritishCycling.org.uk)
The 2010 Tour of Britain will ride its way into Norfolk for a stage of the race and it will be free for all to witness.

Norfolk will host a stage of the UK's biggest cycle race the Tour of Britain in 2010.

The route, yet to be decided, will cover at least 100 miles and take in some of the best scenery in the county.

The race could generate around £1.5 million for the Norfolk economy and it will be televised for all to watch.

"This is likely to be the biggest sporting event ever to be held in Norfolk," said Daniel Cox, leader of Norfolk County Council.

In 2008, there were four British Olympic gold medallists in the field including Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas. The tour was won by Frenchman Geoffroy Lequatre, who regularly rides in the Tour de France.

"This is a great opportunity to showcase what we have here in Norfolk," said Michael Timewell, chairman for Norfolk tourism.

"We've all ridden a bike at some time in our lives - I think whatever the age group, people are going to be interested to see it - it will be quite a spectacle," he added.

The event is going to be televised, but the Norfolk public are being encouraged to get out there and show their support.

"It's a great opportunity to showcase this fantastic county to a wide audience networked over 100 countries," said Michael.

"We don't quite know the route yet, but wherever it goes it's going to be significant.

"When it visited Somerset in 2008, hundreds of thousands of spectators came out into the streets and it generated a substantial amount of money."

Cycle routes

There are many cycle routes in Norfolk and Daniel Cox suggested the final route could incorporate a selection of Norwich, King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth, the north Norfolk coast and the Broads.

An ariel view of Sennowe Park in Guist, Norfolk (Photo: Mike Page)
The Norfolk Broads could feature in the race

"There are various cycle routes in the county and it provides a wonderful opportunity for people to get out," said Michael.

"I think similarly with the aftermath of the Olympics in 2008, this event may spur people on to get fit and enjoy the wonder of the sport," he added.

With the success of Norfolk cyclists in the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, such as silver medalist Emma Pooley, the economic development unit at Norfolk County Council had a strong argument to bring the event to the county.

"They've been pitching to the organisers for over a year and some of these events take an awfully long time to get going. Hats off to them, they've done a splendid job," said Michael.





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