The people of Aldeburgh have welcomed the news that the seaside town is to host the opening stage finish of the 2015 Friends Life Women’s Tour.

This year’s event starts where last year’s inaugural race finished – in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday, 17 June.

The opening stage will take 100 of the world’s top female cyclists across the county. In Suffolk Coastal, they will race through Kesgrave, out to Woodbridge, then on past Rendlesham to Snape, before heading up to Saxmundham, Leiston and Thorpeness, before cutting down to Aldeburgh.  

Ruth Proctor, Clerk of Aldebugh Town Council, said: “We are very excited. It is a tremendous privilege for Aldeburgh to be hosting the finish of Stage One of the Friend’s Life Women’s Tour.” 

“It takes place at an important time of the year, as it is during the Aldeburgh Festival, so there will already be a lot of activities going on in and around the town. This is the icing on the cake. We look forward to welcoming visitors and local people, especially the school children, to this prestigious event.”

And that sentiment was echoed by Robert Mabey, chairman of Aldeburgh Business Association, who said: “It is great that we are having the Stage One finish here. It is a brilliant for everyone within the community, from keen cyclists like myself through to all the businesses. It gives us the opportunity to raise the profile of Aldeburgh and show everyone what a quality destination this is. I’m sure this will give the town a real boost.”  

This is the second time the Friends Life Women’s Tour has been run. It takes place from Wednesday, 17 June, through to Sunday, 21 June, with the highlights of the five stages being shown daily on ITV4.

Last year, Suffolk Coastal hosted the start of Stage Three, which was won by the eventual overall race winner Marianne Vos, which started in Felixstowe.

Cllr TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Customers, Communities and Leisure, said: “Suffolk Coastal is delighted to be able to continue to support the Friends Life Women’s Tour.”

“We have had a great response from the people of Aldeburgh, since we announced this news. The first stage finishing here will give a boost to this beautiful seaside town, bringing in extra tourism and raising the profile of both Aldeburgh and the entire District, while also encouraging people to have healthier lifestyles.  I am sure the people of Aldeburgh, and those along the entire route, will turn out to support this exceptional event.”