Ahead of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour of Britain coming into Suffolk this summer, the Mayor of Ipswich has tackled the SKODA Queen of the Mountain route in Ipswich.

Sarah Barber was joined by This Girl Can ambassadors as she rode part of the Ipswich section of the first stage – setting off from Ipswich Hospital, where she works as a nurse, to Christchurch Park for the ascent of the hill.

More than 100 of the world’s leading cyclists will race into Ipswich on 13th June as part of the Framlingham to Southwold opening stage.

The Mayor said today: “I can confidently say the professional riders will be a lot, lot faster than me but this was an enjoyable experience – apart from the hill in the park, which I normally stroll up gently!

“The OVO Energy Women’s Tour is a very prestigious event and it is a great honour for Ipswich and Suffolk to be the focus of the opening stage I am sure that thousands of people will be lining the route in June and cheering on all the riders.”

Accompanying the Mayor today were This Girl Can ambassadors Emma Brinkley and Emily Roden, who both work for the Borough Council.

Race Director Mick Bennett said: “It is now less than 50-days until we return to Suffolk with the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and the excitement is really building. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the world’s best cyclists in action for free, so we hope that the people of Ipswich and Suffolk turn out to cheer them on.

“Christchurch Park is a beautiful setting and as the only SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb on the stage a natural location for spectators to come and watch the race and see who is the best climber on day one of the Tour.”

Cllr Tony Goldson, Cabinet Member for Health at Suffolk County Council, said: “The Women’s Tour provides a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to watch some of the world’s best female cyclists race through Suffolk’s towns and communities and get up close and personal with the action. Nowhere will this be more the case than in the beautiful surroundings of Christchurch Park in Ipswich, which provides the perfect setting for the Skoda Queen of the mountains section. I would encourage people to come along and enjoy the excitement of the racing and make a day of it visiting the many tourist attractions in the town, including the wonderful Ipswich Waterfront.”

You can find more information on Stage One, including an interactive map of the route by clicking here.  Further details including the full ETA timings for each stage will be added in the coming weeks.