Almost 500 cycling enthusiasts have already signed up to take part in next month’s Tour de Tendring – a rise of about 25 per cent on this time last year.

Excitement is building for the popular event which celebrates its 21st birthday and heads off from Dovercourt Swimming Pool on Sunday 11 May at 10.30am.

There are three distances to suit all aspirations starting with 6 miles, going up to 20 miles and then a 60-miler which takes in a large part of the very best of the Tendring District.

The Tour de Tendring has the added attraction that this year riders will follow in the pedals of the very best of the world’s women road racers who will set off on the very first Women’s Tour just 30 minutes earlier from the same venue.

The field, which includes World and Olympic Champions, will be taking part in the fifth and final leg of The Women's Tour from Harwich to Bury St Edmunds.

Stage Three of the race will also take in Tendring with a finish on Clacton seafront on Friday 9 May.

Mark Platt, Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Cabinet Member for Tourism, Events and Leisure Services, said it is going to be a real cycle fest.

“It promises to be a very special few days for the District and one which hopefully pull in many thousands of people,” he said.

“The Women’s Tour gives a real boost for our own Tour de Tendring which I am sure is why we have seen a rise in people signing up at this stage compared to last year.

“In 2013 we had around 1,300 participants and I am sure we will easily top that this time around.”

Cllr Platt is taking part in the 20-mile distance himself with a team riding tandems to raise money for two charities. These are Tendring Talking Times and Light into Europe, a Frinton-based charity, which is supporting Guide Dogs for the Blind in Romania.

A whole host of free entertainment has been organised at the Low Road site in Dovercourt, sponsored by Ellisons Solicitors.

It will include the Peppermint Dance School, Chase Lane Cheerleaders, Elite Majorettes, Harwich Sing Choir and children’s entertainers.

Tom Connors, who holds 12 Guinness World Records for basketball freestyle will be performing for the crowds as will Ash Randall (pictured below), who holds 8 Guinness World Records himself for football freestyle.

“Make sure the date is in your diary and come along and join in what promises to be a fantastic day for all the family,” added Cllr Platt.

For further information about the event and to sign up for the Tour de Tendring visit