Cycling fans in Southwold, Reydon and Lowestoft in for a treat as Tour de France champion and Olympics gold medallist Bradley Wiggins confirmed to lead Team Sky in Tour of Britain
TOUR de France and Olympic time trial champion Bradley Wiggins has announced he will compete in next month's Tour of Britain.
Bradley Wiggins wins Gold for team GB in the mens individual time trials. Chris Froom wins Bronze.
It is certain to boost even further the huge crowds which will pack the route around Norfolk and Suffolk.
The 32-year-old has been given extra time off by Team Sky following his hugely successful summer and is not participating in the Tour of Denmark next week.
His return to competitive action is now set to come on home soil in the eight-stage event which begins in Ipswich on September 9.
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It will see riders follow a route through Woodbridge and Leiston before passing through Reydon and Lowestoft.
They will then head on towards Great Yarmouth, Filby, Potter Heigham, Hoveton, Coltishall, Reepham, Swanton Morley, Dereham, Mattishall, East Tuddenham, Colton and Easton before finishing at the Norfolk Showground at Costessey, which is hosting the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival.
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Wiggins made the announcement as he launched the inaugural 'Ride with Brad' mass participation public cycling event in Barnoldswick, Lancashire.
When asked what his next plans were, Wiggins said: 'I'm doing the Tour of Britain now.
'It'll be nice. I'll try to stay fit between now and then so I don't embarrass myself! It'll be good.'
As well as Wiggins' Team Sky, other Tour de France teams heading to the Tour of Britain are Orica GreenEDGE, Vacansoleil DCM, Garmin Sharp, Liquigas Cannondale, Euskaltel Euskadi and Saur Sojasun. They will join nine other teams.
The nationwide race is expected to bring a �2m boost to the local economy. The event is also set to be televised to more than 100 countries, which may also provide a tourism boost.
Tour of Britain spokesman Peter Hodges said: 'It's a golden opportunity for cycling in Britain.
'Cycling is the sport everyone is talking about, and we are really looking forward to September – even more than usual.
'People will have seen the Tour de France and the Olympics on television and it will give people in East Anglia the chance to see professional cycling first hand.'
At the finish at Norfolk Showground, there will be an afternoon of free family fun from 11am to 4pm.
It will cater for all tastes and ages, with children's activities, music, entertainment, arts and crafts as well as the spectacular race finish in the afternoon.
And to celebrate the county's best food and drink, the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food & Drink Festival 2012 in association with Norfolk County Council has arranged competitions, information, food-related activities as well as stalls selling local produce.
The route, with the exception of the start and finish venues, will operate on a rolling road closure implemented by police and support motorcyclists.
Motorcyclists will ride ahead of the professional cyclists holding the traffic until the cyclists have passed through, the average time for the traffic to be held is around 20 minutes but can be much shorter depending on how many breakaway groups there are and the speed that the cyclists are riding.