ScottishPower Renewables – Official Supporting Stage Partner for Stage 5 – joined local cyclists, businesses and representatives from the Tour of Britain racing teams in Suffolk on Friday 18 August to celebrate the impending arrival of the UK’s leading cycle race.
SPR’s Ed Rees, East Anglia THREE Community Liaison Officer was one of twenty riders – including councillors, business leaders and Seamus Bennett, Mayor of Felixstowe – to set off on a 25-mile ride to sample the stunning Suffolk countryside from Snape Maltings to Felixstowe, which will host Stage Five of the 2023 Tour of Britain on Thursday 7 September.
The riders were accompanied by guest rider Oscar Pratt, from Saint Piran Pro Cycling Team, one of only three domestic-based cycling teams lining up for the race.
With the sun just about holding off the rain, the riders were led out of the famous Suffolk concert venue by the Saint Piran rider as they showed their support for the UK’s most prestigious cycle race, which attracts the best riders in the world.
This year, the Suffolk roads will play host to many of the teams and riders seen at races such as the Tour de France including Ineos Grenadiers, Jumbo Visma, Movistar and Uno-X. 16 teams and over 90 riders will race across the UK, for eight days from Saturday 2nd September.
With millions of people watching the race on television, Suffolk will be front and centre, being broadcast across the world.
Speaking after the ride, Ed Rees said: “What an amazing experience to be part of the peloton for this Tour of Britain experience and showcase ScottishPower Renewables’ support for the Suffolk stage of the prestigious race on 7 September.
“Our Suffolk offshore wind farms – which are at the heart of our UK offshore wind operations – will not only help power a cleaner and greener future for us all, they also ensure we will be part of the Suffolk community for decades to come.
“Supporting the Tour of Britain is a great way to celebrate our role within the local community and all that this wonderful county has to offer. I can’t wait to see the world’s top cyclists take to the roads across the county and everyone coming out to cheer them on, with ScottishPower Renewables supporting them all the way!”
Karen Chapman of Suffolk stage host partners Suffolk Growth said: “The countdown to the 2023 Men's Tour is on and, with Suffolk hosting Stage 5, the county is set to benefit from a significant economic boost for our visitor economy and communities. Suffolk Growth are proud to be working on this year's Tour with partners and sponsors and anticipate this to be the best year for the Tour”.
Felixstowe Mayor Seamus Bennett said, “I had a brilliant day riding part of the Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain. It is so exciting that this unique event is starting and finishing in Felixstowe and I hope that the whole community will get behind and support the biggest free spectator event coming to our county. I think we are hosting it brilliantly and showcasing our country lanes, coastline and demonstrating that we are an active place to live. Viva la Tour of Britain, Viva La Suffolk!”
Councillor David Busby, Babergh District Council leader, said: “The Tour of Britain is one of the biggest free spectator events coming to our area and it is a great opportunity for our communities to gather together and watch some of the world’s best athletes in action. I would encourage everyone who can to get involved in this momentous occasion in whatever way they can.
Councillor Andy Mellen, Leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “With just under three weeks until the Tour of Britain makes its way back to Suffolk, the countdown is well and truly on. I am looking forward to watching the race alongside many local residents – it will be a great showcase for our fantastic district.”
The race is supported by a range of high-profile businesses in the county, including ScottishPower Renewables and Ipswich-based Motion Mapping.
Motion Mapping’s Creative Director Stuart Harris also took part in the community ride, commenting: “This has been another fantastic opportunity to engage with other local businesses and highlight the arrival of the Tour in Suffolk. The engagement and enthusiasm from all involved was a great preview to the Tour itself.”
Adam Harridence, Communications Director of professional cycling team Saint Piran highlighted the importance of riding the roads of Suffolk: “This stage stands out as being technical, fast and furious. It is a fantastic setting for some of the world’s best riders to test themselves and for cyclists across the region to come and be inspired. We hope Saint Piran receives some of that warm East Anglian welcome when we race!”