This year’s OVO Energy Women’s Tour Grand Depart in Suffolk will take place between Beccles and Stowmarket, marking the first time that both market towns will host Britain’s leading women’s procycling race.

Ninety-six of the world’s best female riders will line up in Beccles on Monday 10 June to tackle a 157.6-kilometre (98-mile) route that will take in the northern and central parts of the county before finishing in Stowmarket. Fans watching the action unfold at the finish on Ipswich Street will benefit from seeing a field comprising Olympic, world and national champions pass through the line twice during the stage.

Suffolk has previously hosted the opening stage in 2015 (Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh) and 2018 (Framlingham to Southwold), as well as co-hosting the 2016 race start (Southwold to Norwich) with neighbouring Norfolk.

Stage timetable

Stage feature Estimated time of arrival
Start – New Market, Beccles 10:30
Eisberg sprint – RAF Honington 13:19
Eisberg sprint – Fornham St Martin 13:40
SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb – Little Welnetham 14:02
Eisberg sprint – Ipswich Road, Stowmarket 14:34
SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb – Purple Hill 14:44
Finish – Ipswich Road, Stowmarket 14:53

Click here to explore and download the full stage one timetable

Beccles Women's Tour Stage One

Beccles

Host venue for the first time in 2019

Start location: Market Street, NR34 9HA

Beccles is a charming market town located beside the River Waveney at the southern point of the Suffolk and Norfolk Broads. Set among rolling countryside, the town boasts many independent shops, cafes, restaurants and other businesses, with a wide range of community events taking place throughout the year including a carnival, duck race, antiques market, food festival and more.

Beccles Lido, home to the annual Beccles Triathlon, is one of the town’s most popular attractions during the summer months. Meanwhile the River Waveney and scenic Waveney Valley offer plenty of opportunities for riverside walks, canoeing and boat trips, including those offered by the Big Dog Ferry (bigdogferry.co.uk).

One of the town’s most recognisable landmarks is the Bell Tower. At 97 feet tall, it stands detached from the main body of St Michael’s Church in the centre of the town and offers spectacular views across the surrounding countryside.

Beccles Quay is another popular area and is the Southern Gateway to The Broads, which is excellent for sailing and water activities, with the quayside being ideal for families, walkers and those interested in wildlife.

For more information please visit thesuffolkcoast.co.uk.

Stowmarket Women's Tour

Stowmarket

Host venue for the first time in 2019

Finish location: Ipswich Street, IP14 1AZ

Stowmarket is located at the geographical heart of rural Suffolk on the River Gipping. The Town occupies a strategic location in the centre of the county, 12 miles North West of Ipswich and 14 miles South East of Bury St Edmunds on the A14 trunk road.

The town is also served by the main Norwich to London rail link. Originally an agricultural market town, industry developed following the canalization of the River Gipping in 1793, bringing new prosperity to Stowmarket. Today the old towpath forms a pleasant footpath through the Gipping Valley from Stowmarket railway station to the docks at Ipswich and is one of the many fantastic walking routes Stowmarket has to offer. Click here for more information.

The medieval heart of Stowmarket lies around the Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Mary and in the area leading down to the riverbank. The town has many buildings listed by the Department of National Heritage as buildings of special architectural or historic interest and one, the Parish Church, is classified as being of exceptional interest.

Stowmarket has plenty to offer visitors. As well as a wide range of shops in the town centre, Stowmarket is home to the award-winning Museum of East Anglian Life – one of the biggest museums in Suffolk, a thriving cinema in The Regal, an annual carnivalan annual music festivalan historic church and much more.

Visit stowmarket.org for more information, or please drop-in to the local Visitor Information Point, located at Stowmarket Library Milton Road, Stowmarket IP14 1EX (01449 700549).

Women's Tour stage one