Fakenham set to welcome Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain preview at Fakenham Racecourse. Pictured are (from left) David Hunter, Duncan Ellis, Tom Fitzpatrick, Becky Palmer and Karl Read. Picture: Ian Burt
Tour of Britain preview at Fakenham Racecourse. Pictured are (from left) David Hunter, Duncan Ellis, Tom Fitzpatrick, Becky Palmer and Karl Read. Picture: Ian Burt

Thousands of cycling fans are expected to descend on Fakenham tomorrow as the town hosts the start of the Tour of Britain’s penultimate stage.

Some of the world’s leading riders will be among the field leaving the town’s racecourse at 10am on Saturday to embark on a 227-kilometre route through Norfolk and Suffolk to Ipswich.

After leaving the course, the riders will head through the town centre before racing gets underway on the A1067 near Guist.

North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: “It’s a great opportunity to showcase our fantastic district and encourage visitors to stay and find out more about the area.”

Becky Palmer, the authority’s cabinet member for leisure and cultural services, added: “Cycling’s a great way to keep fit and get people outside enjoying the countryside. It’s a great honour to be hosting the start of the stage.”

Gates at the racecourse will be open from 7.30am tomorrow for spectators to pick their vantage points to see the riders on their way.

Although entry is free, organisers are suggesting a £2 donation per car to Walking with the Wounded, many of whose members will be working with course staff.

Chief executive David Hunter said: “We are delighted to be supporting this inspiring national cycling event.

“Hosting the start of The Tour of Britain (Norfolk) offers a great opportunity for the local community to get involved and we hope it will encourage tourists to visit the county again in the future.”

For more on the Tour of Britain, see our supplement starting on page 49.