East Anglian Cyclists urged to get their wheels in motion for Tour Ride

People across Suffolk and Norfolk are being urged to take on the challenge of their lives and sign up for the East Anglia Tour Ride to raise funds for The Prostate Cancer Charity.

For the first time, cyclists in the region will have the opportunity to experience part of the official Tour of Britain route on Sunday 24 July 2011 ahead of the professionals in September.

Whether riders take on the tough 200km Pro Ride from Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham or shorter but none-the-less rewarding 100km Challenge route - starting in Diss and finishing in Sandringham - the East Anglia Tour Ride promises to offer participants a one-off cycling experience, while raising awareness of prostate cancer and money for the Charity.

Now in their third year, The Prostate Cancer Charity's Tour Rides are an established part of the sportive calendar for amateur cyclists with over 4,500 amateur riders taking part in three events last year.

Following on from this success, which saw riders raise over £520,000, The Prostate Cancer Charity has extended its offering to five events this year, giving people the opportunity to take on Tour Rides in East Anglia, Wales and Scotland alongside existing rides in London and Stoke-on-Trent.

The Charity's unique partnership with The Tour of Britain, aims to bring people together through cycling to help raise awareness of prostate cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in men in the UK.

Speaking about the upcoming East Anglia Tour Ride, Katie Robbins, Tour of Britain Project Manager at The Prostate Cancer Charity, says: "Over the past three years, The Prostate Cancer Charity has developed strong links with professional and amateur cyclists through our partnership with The Tour of Britain which have been invaluable in helping us to get many more people thinking about the disease.

"We are delighted to be able to include East Anglia in the offering this year and hope that people living in Norfolk and Suffolk with an interest in cycling will get on their bikes to raise awareness of  prostate cancer and funds for the Charity."

Councillor Kathy Gosling, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for Sport, Culture, Diversity, Health and Wellbeing said: "The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride is a fantastic opportunity for people to get a piece of the Tour of Britain action for themselves.

"Cycling is certainly taking off in Suffolk and following on from last year's success I am confident that this year's Tour of Britain will inspire an even greater interest in the fantastic range of cycle routes in Suffolk.

"I would urge any keen cyclists to sign up to take part in the Tour Ride. It's for a great cause and it gives people the chance to follow the Tour of Britain route through Suffolk's beautiful countryside."

James Carswell, Cabinet member for Cultural Services at Norfolk County Council, said:

"After the riders had crossed the finish line in last year's Tour of Britain stage through Norfolk, the national organiser declared that the crowds lining our roads were larger than they had ever experienced. Over 130,000 people came out to watch the race - indicating the level of interest that there is in cycling in the county.

"The Tour Ride in July presents a wonderful opportunity for those with an interest in cycling to experience the kind of route that the professional cyclists will be taking when the Tour of Britain returns to Norfolk in September, whilst also raising money for a good cause."

Graham Jones, Route Director at The Tour of Britain, said:"The East Anglian stage of The Tour of Britain is the longest of the race this year, and one of the longest we've ever run.  Participants in the East Anglian Tour Ride will have the chance to say they've ridden the route of a long and testing stage of this year's Tour all in aid of a very good cause, and of course gain a preview of what the professionals will face this September."

For further information, please visit www.tourride.co.uk