Eye, Diss and Wymondham gear up for Tour of Britain

Towns and villages across south Norfolk are gearing up for the Tour of Britain with a host of activities to welcome the professional cycle race.

There is just over a month to go until the internationally-renowned sporting event hits the district and communities are beginning to prepare for the race on Saturday, September 17.

Stage seven of the Tour will begin at Bury St Edmunds in the morning and will reach Eye, Diss, Shelfanger, Bunwell and Wymondham during the afternoon. The 200km race will finish at the Sandringham Estate in west Norfolk.

Communities along the route are beginning to gear up for the UK's largest free-to-spectate live sporting fixture with a number of events to celebrate the country's biggest professional cycle race.

Eye Town Council is asking local residents to submit their cycling tales for display around the town in the run-up to the visit of Olympic, World and Commonwealth cyclists.

The north Suffolk town is also planning a range of entertainment on the big day, including an artisan market in the town hall, live bands in the streets, competitions to promote cycling and fitness, and a children's competition to design a bicycle for the future.

Eye Cub Scouts will stage a barbecue at the Queen's Head pub and there will be a duck race at the Pennings nature reserve.

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Deputy mayor Maria Ford said: 'We want to show visitors to the town for the Tour of Britain that the people of Eye are keen cyclists, too, and we intend to take photographs of our story tellers and display their accounts in local shops. So if you live in Eye or nearby, and have your own tale to tell, or know of someone who has, please get in touch at maria.ford@eyesuffolk.org'

South Norfolk Council is organising free cycle training at Diss Junior School on August 27 and Wymondham Leisure Centre on September 3 between 10am and midday.

Four cycle rides are also being organised in Diss in the run-up to the Tour including a one hour session for over 50s on September 12, a women only event on September 14, a social bike ride on September 22, and a led ride including a bike maintenance session on September 24. For more information, call 07976 604522 or email cycledivas@rocketmail.com

Town councillor Jay Hurley, who is also looking to organise an event at Diss Park on September 17, said: 'It would be fantastic when the helicopter flies over Diss that we have the park packed out with people. I would like to see Diss benefiting from the coverage that the tour will bring.'

In Wymondham, traders at the monthly farmers' market are being warned to bring extra stock to feed the extra visitors on September 17 when the cycle ride comes through the town.

Town clerk Trevor Gurney said he hoped South Norfolk Council will be organising a Tour-themed event in Wymondham.

Wymondham commuters are also being urged to get involved in a 'mass cycle commute' from the town to the Forum in Norwich on September 23.

For more information, visit www.norfolkcelebratingtalent.co.uk