Riders have experienced the closing miles of the Suffolk stage of the AJ Bell Women’s Tour that will decide the winner of the 2021 race on Saturday 9 October.
Led by CAMS – Basso rider Clover Murray, who hails from Frinton, the group rode the final 32 kilometres (20 miles) from Wickham Market to Felixstowe, finishing on the sea front in Felixstowe.
“I thought it was going to be quite flat but it was rolling and there were actually a few sharp climbs,” said Clover Murray after finish the ride outside the Spa Pavilion in Felixstowe. “It should still be one that comes back all together for the nice flat sprint at the end. It’s hard to predict but it is going to be hard for anyone to get away so it looks like a sprinters stage.”
Should she ride in the AJ Bell Women’s Tour for CAMS – Basso it would be a debut in the UCI Women’s WorldTour event for Murray, and now living on the Essex/Suffolk border there is extra motivation to make the squad with both Stages Five and Six nearby.
“It’s amazing to have it on my home roads. I ride on these roads often and hopefully it inspires more women to cycle and the next generation of riders.”
Clover was joined by riders from stage, location and supporting partners in Suffolk along with two motorcycle outriders from Suffolk Police.
Cllr Graham Newman, Chairman of Suffolk County Council, said: “The media ride has given local partners, pro-cyclists and media a great opportunity to experience cycling the final stretch of the race route, finishing along the sea front in Felixstowe.
“It was a great day of cycling and I’m confident that this route will make for an exciting finish to the Suffolk stage and to the 2021 race! We can’t wait to welcome the world’s top cyclists to Suffolk in only a few weeks!”
Stage Six on Saturday 9 October will see riders departing from Haverhill High Street at 11:00, passing through Clare, Sudbury, Wattisham Flying Station, Stowmarket, and Woodbridge.
There will be two intermediate Eisberg Sprints, once again sponsored by the UK’s leading alcohol-free wine brand Eisberg, in Long Melford and Needham Market, with time bonuses available at each, and two ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains climbs at Glemsford and Clopton Hill, near Wickham Market.
Cllr Letitia Smith, East Suffolk Council cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, added; “It is incredibly exciting that the AJ Bell Women’s Tour is returning to East Suffolk next month and we know our local communities, businesses and schools will be out in force to show their support. We are committed to increasing people’s participation in sport and this event will no doubt inspire even more people to take up cycling and improve their health and wellbeing.”
Further announcements about the riders who will make up the 16-team, 96-rider field for the AJ Bell Women’s Tour will be made over the next two weeks, building up to the race, which gets underway in Oxfordshire with a stage from Bicester to Banbury on Monday 4 October.
The AJ Bell Women’s Tour is sponsored by AJ Bell, one of the UK’s leading online investment platforms, helping people invest for the long term via ISAs, pensions and general investment accounts. It has a rich history of supporting elite level sport including badminton, cricket, rugby, squash and triathlon, and recently sponsored the men’s AJ Bell Tour of Britain in September, won by Wout van Aert.