Following the recent success of the ŠKODA V-Women’s Tour, which featured the finish of the 2014 Women’s Tour in Bury St Edmunds, Keep Moving Suffolk in partnership with the Women’s Tour and the East Anglian Air Ambulance are inviting new, returning and regular cyclists to take on the Women’s Tour Virtual cycling challenge.  

The virtual challenge, which will run from the 20 July to 16 August, is to ride the 163.8km of the 2019 Women’s Tour stage from Beccles to Stowmarket, which was won by Belgian rider Jolien D’Hoore who currently rides for UCI Women’s Continental Team Boels–Dolmans. 

As well as taking on a personal challenge, participants will also be helping to raise much needed funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.  

Sophie Matthews, Community Fundraising Manager at East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) commented: “We’re extremely grateful to Keep Moving Suffolk for choosing to support East Anglian Air Ambulance through this challenge. Our crews have been working hard throughout the crisis to continue to be there for people in need and it really is only thanks to community support like this that we can keep our yellow helicopters flying and saving lives. 

“Virtual challenge events are a great way to keep active and replace the support we’ve lost this year from having to cancel our normal challenge fundraising events. The women’s Tour virtual cycling challenge sounds like a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful Suffolk countryside. And as so many people have gotten into cycling during lockdown, hopefully this will be a great challenge to work towards while also supporting East Anglian Air Ambulance.” 

Registration for the challenge is open until the 7th August and there are a limited number of 500 places available on a first come first served basis. 100% of all proceeds from the challenge will go to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.  

Full details on how to register for the challenge can be found at:   

Participants will not only have the satisfaction of completing a challenge and supporting the EAAA they will also be entered into a competition to win a pair of VIP tickets for the final stage of the 2021 Women’s Tour which will finish in Felixstowe.  

Cllr James Reeder, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention said: “It’s been very encouraging to see the increase in people getting on their bikes for regular exercise during the coronavirus crisis and challenges of this nature can only help to support and motivate residents to keep it up in the coming weeks and months.  

We were all hugely disappointed to lose the Women’s Tour this year, but we are determined to find the positives from these challenging times and I am delighted that we are able to support the East Anglian Air Ambulance, whilst helping Suffolk to become the Most Active County in England”  

Participants will be able to split the 163.8km over as many days as they wish during the challenge, logging their progress on the My Virtual Mission platform, which shows how far you have travelled along the route and what’s left to do. You can even stop and look at the local scenery on route using street view. 

Commenting on the challenge, Mick Bennett, Race Director, The Women’s Tour said; “It is great to see this initiative created by Keep Suffolk Moving and the virtual challenge that has been created for such a worthy cause.  While we couldn’t be in Suffolk for our final stage as planned this June, events like this and our recent SKODA V-Women’s Tour help keep the Women’s Tour in the public eye and of course build up to June 2021 when we are looking forward to finishing our next edition in Suffolk.”