East Anglia will play host to the climax of this year’s Tour Series, with Aylsham in Norfolk staging the penultimate round on Thursday 13 June and the grand finale taking place in Ipswich, Suffolk, the following evening.
The full line-up of venues for the 11-round series will be announced next week, although organisers have already revealed that Kirkcaldy will once again host the season opener on Tuesday 14 May, and that Torquay will be the venue of a round on Tuesday 28 May and Redditch on Tuesday 4 June. Once again, highlights will be shown on ITV4.
Both Aylsham and Ipswich are hosting the criterium racing series for the first time, and the back-to-back races are sponsored by local brewer Adnams, whose head of corporate affairs, Emma Hibbert, said: “Adnams is delighted to sponsor the final stages of The Tour Series.
“We know, through our support of the Tour of Britain in previous years, that cycling events are incredibly popular in Suffolk and Norfolk.
“The races in Aylsham and Ipswich promise to offer a thrilling spectacle as some of the country’s top teams battle it out in the concluding stages of The Tour Series.
“Adnams is proud to support these events which deliver real and tangible economic benefit for the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk.”
Referring to that penultimate round in Aylsham, Barry Stone, Norfolk County Council's Cabinet member for Cultural Services, commented: "Norfolk has really embraced The Tour of Britain over the last three years and I have no doubt that we will also see large crowds heading to Aylsham on Thursday June 13 to enjoy The Tour Series."
Stuart Clancy, Broadland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, added: “We are hugely honoured to be welcoming The Tour Series to Aylsham. I know the local business and resident community are extremely excited to play host to such a prestigious event. We will make it a day to remember!”
On the subject of that season finale in Ipswich, Councillor Colin Noble, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for responsible for sport, said "It is fantastic news that Suffolk has been selected to host the final round of The Tour Series, one of UK cycling's most prestigious events.
“After such an exciting summer of sport in 2012, events like these continue to inspire people to get active themselves. I hope The Tour Series will encourage people to get out on their own bikes and help us on our way to making Suffolk the most active county in England."
Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council's Culture & Leisure portfolio-holder, added: "This is going to be a great day for Ipswich. Following on from the start of The Tour of Britain last year and the growing popularity of SkyRide, cycling is attracting bigger audiences as well as getting more people out on their bikes.
"It's going to be a great summer for Ipswich as this is just one of the high-profile events we have here."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.