A seaside trip awaits over 100 of the world’s best cyclists when Felixstowe hosts a stage finish of the Tour of Britain cycle race in September.
The fifth day of the UK’s longest-running and most prestigious international cycle race will weave through Babergh and Mid Suffolk, the heart of the county’s countryside, before culminating along the Suffolk coastline in the shadows of Felixstowe’s pier and world-famous port on Thursday 7 September.
This stage will mark Suffolk’s first appearance in the Tour of Britain since 2017, although it will be the fifth time in modern race history that the peloton will have raced through the county. Felixstowe has never previously welcomed the Tour of Britain, however its sister race – the Women’s Tour – dramatically culminated there in 2021, when newly-crowned world champion Elisa Balsamo claimed an emotional victory in the famous rainbow jersey.
Since its return in 2004, the Tour of Britain has become a cornerstone of the UK sporting calendar. Over 15 million people have watched the event in person, with the race generating over £330m for the UK economy to date.
Full details of stage five – including the start location, route and timetable – will be announced in due course.
Karen Chapman, Suffolk Growth partnership manager, said:
“The return of the Tour to Suffolk, with a stage finish in Felixstowe, is an exceptional opportunity to showcase the county’s natural beauty and visitor experience to local, national, and international audiences Suffolk Growth are proud to be a partner in this year’s Tour, working closely with race organisers, and local partners to deliver a world-class event, generating direct community and economic impact, and raising the profile of cycling for both elite and leisure participants.”
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said:
“It’s great that the Tour of Britain is returning to Suffolk after six years away! Of course, the whole county has been incredible in its support of the Women’s Tour, which has visited Suffolk four times in that time. The crowd – and their noise – for that race’s finale in Felixstowe in 2021 was unbelievable. I reckon we’re in for a repeat of that come September!
“Given the race’s links to Suffolk now date back nearly 15 years, on behalf of the race I must say how grateful I am to Suffolk Growth and all of our local stakeholders for their continued support of the Tour.”
Stage Five of the Tour of Britain follows a weekend of celebrations being coordinated by the Felixstowe BID across Felixstowe. The ‘Love Felixstowe’ Festival sees street entertainment, food, music and fun in town on Saturday 2nd September from 12 midday – 5pm and at the seaside by The Pier on Sunday 3rd September from 12 midday – 5pm with a skyline spectacular that Sunday afternoon. With even more to be announced soon, see www.visitfelixstowe.org.uk/love-felixstowe-festival for full details.
The Tour of Britain 2023 will begin in Greater Manchester on Sunday 3 September and culminate eight stages later in South Wales (Sunday 10 September). Along the way the riders will race through Wrexham, East Riding of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Essex, creating an unforgettable sporting spectacle that is free for all to watch.
More details of this year’s race, including full stage routes and competing teams, will be announced in the coming weeks.
ITV4 will continue to broadcast live flag-to-flag coverage of every stage, as well as a nightly highlights show, allowing fans in the UK to watch the action unfold wherever they are.