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Apache attack helicopters made way for bicycles on Saturday 12 September as the Aviva Tour of Britain sprinted down the runway at Wattisham Flying Station.
An enthusiastic crowd of soldiers and their families welcomed 120 of the world’s top cyclists as they raced through Wattisham, the first time the Tour has passed through a military base. The base’s 2,400-metre runway provided a unique setting for an intermediate YodelDirect Sprint.
A breakaway group of three cyclists lead the main peleton down the runway and into a stiff headwind. British rider Alex Dowsett, from the Movistar team, was first across the finish line, which was marked by a pair of Apaches.
Colonel Jason Etherington, Commander of Wattisham Flying Station, said: "It’s been a fantastic spectacle to have the Tour of Britain sprint pass through Wattisham and a very different event for our soldiers and families to enjoy. Our runway has given a unique challenge for the race, as it is rare to get such a long and straight stretch of road to race along, while riding into the wind makes it that much harder. But the professionals only did it once, whereas at the SSAFA Wattisham Triathlon we do it four times every year, so I have no sympathy!”
The stage, broadcast live on ITV4 and British Eurosport, was the seventh and penultimate day of the Tour, taking riders 142 miles from Fakenham to Ipswich.
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British Army Press Release Dated 12 September 2015.