17 September 2011
Last updated at 20:42
The Tour of Britain - the UK's biggest professional cycling race - made a return to Suffolk and Norfolk on Saturday, 17 September, with thousands of people lining the streets of Bury St Edmunds to see the start of the event.
Britain's Mark Cavendish, a crowd favourite and winner of 20 Tour de France stages, waved to his fans as he prepared to ride stage seven of the race for team HTC Highroad.
The stage began with current leader and gold jersey wearer Lars Boom, of Rabobank, at the front of the pack of riders. An estimated 250,000 spectators watched last year's stage through Suffolk and Essex, contributing millions of pounds into the local economy.
After Bury St Edmunds the riders made their way to Ipswich and rode through the picturesque Christchurch Park for the King of the Mountain section.
With the Tour of Britain broadcasting to more than 100 countries, it provided a chance for Suffolk and Norfolk to showcase to the world some of its best locations and provide a boost to tourism.
After leaving Suffolk the sprint section took place in the market town of Diss in south Norfolk. A breakaway pack of six riders had created a seven-minute gap at this point from the rest of the 100 competing cyclists.
Going through Wymondham and Reepham on its way to the Queen's estate at Sandringham, the breakaway had kept its pace and Lithuanian An Post rider Gediminas Bagdonas won in a close sprint finish.
Mark Cavendish, known for his fast finishes, led the following pack to finish seventh - one minute 23 seconds behind Bagdonas. Stage seven was the longest stage of the Tour at 124 miles (199.7km).
Bagdonas celebrated in his stage-winning Jersey with Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy (second from right). "It is very important for me to win today and for the people at home in Lithuania," said Bagdonas.
While only finishing 19th, Lars Boom retained his gold jersey with only stage eight remaining in London on Sunday. "I am trying my best to win The Tour of Britain and will do my best tomorrow," he said.