Women's Tour in Suffolk held up as police motorbike crash delays cyclists

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The Women's Tour passes through Bildeston in Suffolk Credit: PA Images

Britain’s top cycle race for women was held up for more than an hour after a police motorcyclist collided with a car on the route.

The crash happened on a country road near Stowmarket as the first stage of the Women's Tour was winding through Essex and Suffolk.

The 90-mile stage from Colchester to Bury St Edmunds was halted after the police escort rider, one of more than 60 managing the race, crashed in the small village of Hitcham ahead of the riders.

The race was stopped at 2.20pm while medics gave immediate first aid.

The injured officer was taken to hospital in Bury St Edmunds where his condition was said not to be life-threatening.

Onlookers said some of the women riders took shelter from the cold weather in cars as they waited for the race to restart.

Clara Copponi was the winner when the riders finally crossed the finish line in Bury St Edmunds.

Crowds gathered at the road sides to cheer on the cyclists as they passed by.

Clara Copponi of FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope wearing the leader's jersey celebrates winning Credit: PA Images

The race, which has attracted more than 100 of the world’s best women bike racers including Olympic medal winners and world champions, is being run over 450 miles in England and Wales over the next three days. 

The route took in Hadleigh and Bildeston on the way to the finish line.

It was the third time Bury St Edmunds had featured in the Women's Tour.

On Tuesday the riders head to Harlow in Essex.

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