The Tour of Britain’s long-awaited return to Suffolk will see the East Anglian county host a full stage of the prestigious cycle race later this year.

Felixstowe will host the start and finish of stage five on Thursday 7 September, with over 100 of the world’s best riders set to tackle a route that will weave through Babergh and Mid Suffolk, the heart of the county’s countryside. Kesgrave, Hadleigh, Needham Market, Stowmarket, Framlingham, Leiston, and Woodbridge will all feature.

The battle for the all-important stage victory will take place on Sea Road, in the shadows of Felixstowe’s pier and world-famous port, in front of an estimated 10,000 spectators.

To amplify the anticipation surrounding the reveal, a social media teaser campaign has been running throughout the week. The majestic Orwell Bridge, historic Framlingham Castle, and an Apache helicopter at Wattisham Airbase have featured, all with race-related imagery projected onto them.

Tour of Britain Suffolk map
Photo: Tour of Britain 2023 stage five route map

While Suffolk has previously welcomed the race on five occasions, this will only be the second time that an entire Tour of Britain stage will take place exclusively in the county. The first of those came in 2017, when Australian star Caleb Ewan triumphed following a stage between Newmarket and Aldeburgh.

Over 400,000 people have watched the Tour of Britain during its previous visits to Suffolk, generating over £8.5m of economic benefit for the county.

Stage five of the Tour of Britain is being supported by Suffolk Growth and Suffolk County Council, in partnership with East Suffolk Council and Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils.

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. Former winners include Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (2018), the two-time world champion, and Belgian star Wout van Aert (2021), while British sporting hero Mark Cavendish holds the record for the most stage victories (10).

Full details of stage five – including the race timetable – will be announced in due course.

Quotes

Karen Chapman, Partnership Manager, Suffolk Growth, said: “We are thrilled to showcase the full route of the Tour of Britain through the engaging and innovative approach of our social media campaign. The projection mapping onto Suffolk’s landmarks has generated tremendous excitement. This event is a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate this world-class cycling event in our beautiful county.”

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, added: “The build-up by our partners in Suffolk and Motion Mapping was inspiring. It really added to the excitement for this route reveal. It has been great to see famous locations in Suffolk illuminated with the Tour of Britain brand and we now look forward to lighting up the county with some exciting racing from the world’s best teams and riders in September.”

Sharon Head, Motion Mapping spokesperson, said: “As a Suffolk based company we are thrilled to be sponsoring the Tour of Britain, Suffolk stage. We look forward to working with the organisers and promoting the event in the coming weeks, showcasing Suffolk.”

Ross Ovens, ScottishPower Renewables’ Managing Director for the East Anglia Hub offshore windfarms, said: “We’re very proud to be part of this stage of the Tour of Britain, which will shine a light on Suffolk’s fabulous towns, villages, coastline and countryside not just to those elite riders taking part, but to everyone watching across the county and at home. Our Suffolk offshore wind projects will not only help power a cleaner and greener future for us all, they will also ensure we are part of the Suffolk community for decades to come. So, as a responsible developer and a good neighbour – and a keen cyclist myself – it’s fantastic to team up with Suffolk Growth and the Tour of Britain to celebrate all that Suffolk has to offer through this spectacular sporting event.”

About the Tour of Britain 2023

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, Nottinghamshire and Essex, creating an unforgettable sporting spectacle that is free for all to watch.

Over one million spectators are expected to line the route of this unforgettable event, which also celebrates community pride, inspires future generations through a comprehensive school engagement programme, and promotes healthy living for all.

A revamped points competition will be sponsored by cottages.com, the UK’s leading provider of holiday cottages and luxury homes. 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. International coverage will be available in over 100 countries via Discovery Player and GCN+.