14 Sep The Tour of Britain comes to Newmarket
Friday 8th September saw the Tour of Britain Stage 6 visit Newmarket. To celebrate this prestigious event coming to town The Racing Centre opened its doors to race day volunteers, organisers, Racing Staff and most notably The Newmarket Cycling and Triathlon club.
Our day started at 6.30am. Working in partnership with Abbeycroft Leisure Centre. We hosted over 30 Volunteers with Teas/Coffees and Bacon Rolls as they were briefed by tour organisers, police and security on their important role throughout what turned out to be a very wet morning!!!!
Despite the gloomy weather, excitement built throughout the morning as Newmarket residents lined the streets. Road barriers, Staging and Big screens were erected (as if by magic) overnight this had transformed the high street and added to the glamour of the event. Tour Stage 6 sponsors Anglian Water displayed on the big screens a short video of our local businesses, Newmarket residents and competitors cheering, waving flags and getting ready for the big race. This video Included clips of staff and members of The Racing Centre too. Fame at last!!!
At 10.45am (just as the heavens opened) the riders, including Olympians Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas set off, led out by community riders including the members of NCTC. A wave of noise greeted them all as they rode through the town, it was especially loud when they cycled along Fred Archer Way, our neighbours at The Newmarket Day Centre and ourselves made sure we were the loudest!!!! Well done to everyone who braved the conditions to ensure there was a real party atmosphere for when they rode past us all. A large crowd of soggy spectators and excited cycling fans then joined us in The Astley café bar and main hall to watch the race continue on our own big screen. Hot drinks, Breakfast Baps and Homemade Steak and Onion Pies were in high demand as people came in and dried off.
The fun didn’t stop there though, led by Leisure & Fitness Co-ordinator Beth Liles and Jake Woolf from Newmarket Cycling and Triathlon Club, using Zwift virtual software and two state of the art road bikes we challenged NCTC and RC members to cycle the same distance as Stage 6 (Suffolk), 187km, all without having to leave our sports hall.
Riders jumped on and off the bike all day, some cycled 1km, some 15/20km at a time but everyone got involved. At approximately 3pm, and ahead of schedule, the challenge was completed (down the virtual finishing straight) finished by Jake and Beth. A real team effort!!!!
Alongside the main event a Spinning Bike, provided by The British Racing School was in high demand as riders, members of the Racefit gym and the wider community attempted to set the fastest time for 1 mile!! All of which jumped of the bike with legs like jelly. Congratulations to Racefit member Ryann Kirkham for setting the fastest female time. There was a Design-a-Jersey Competition, Equipment demonstrations and Cycling wear on sale all courtesy of Godfrey Bikewear which really added to the event too.
A Big thank you to all involved including Tollys Flowers, FutureYou and last (but by no means least) NCTC member Jake Woolf for all his efforts in helping make the day such a great success. Another example of our wonderful community working together.