World’s best cyclists set to race through our region

STELLAR LINE-UP: World Road Race champion Lizzie Armitstead (centre) heads the provisional line-up for this years Aviva Womens Tour, which passes through the Diss Express area next week

STELLAR LINE-UP: World Road Race champion Lizzie Armitstead (centre) heads the provisional line-up for this years Aviva Womens Tour, which passes through the Diss Express area next week

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The best female cyclists on the planet are set to pass through Diss’ surrounding area during the opening stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour on Wednesday.

World Road Race champion and Team GB Olympic hopeful Lizzie Armitstead heads the provisional line-up for this year’s tour, which starts in Southwold next week.

Last year’s winner, Lisa Brennauer, 2014 champion Marianne Vos and world number one Emma Johansson are among the riders also set to be in action.

The five-day international stage-race will pass through Harleston (approx 12.15pm), Pulham St Mary (approx 12.24pm), Pulham Market (approx 12.28pm), Old Buckenham (approx 12.53pm) and Attleborough (approx 12.59pm).

And Mick Bennett, race director of the tour, is encouraging the public to come out and support the riders.

“The locals are in for a real treat this year as we have a stellar line-up, featuring 15 of the world’s top 20 female riders,” the two-time Olympic bronze medalist said.

“Headlined by Britain’s very own world champion Lizzie Armitstead going head-to-head with multiple world and Olympic champion Marianne Vos, it promises to be a great spectacle as the peloton passes just north of Diss on their way to the finish in Norwich.

“We encourage everybody to come out and show their support and give the world’s best riders a warm welcome.”

Diss Cycling Club will be providing 10 members to help marshall the event on Wednesday and will be promoting their club at the sprint section of the stage, which takes place at Pulham Market.

The third staging of the Women’s Tour will cover approximately 617.4km over five days, with the winner to be crowned at the finish line in Kettering town centre on Sunday afternoon.

“This year’s tour will be visiting a host of new counties,” Bennett said. “The first of these new counties we’ll experience will be Norfolk during stage one on Wednesday.

“We’ve always experienced great support throughout the East Anglia region and look forward to the same again next week.”