British Cycling, Ipswich Borough Council and event organiser XRT have announced today that Ipswich has been selected to host the 2012 European Cyclo-Cross Championships.

The event will help to boost participation in cycling in Ipswich and surrounding Suffolk as well as bringing an economic boost to the region.

Commenting on the news, British Cycling’s sport and membership director Jonny Clay said: ?The UK has a proven record in staging world level cycling events, so it is great to see the European Cyclo-Cross Championships coming here for the first time in 2012. It is another opportunity for British Cycling to meet its aims of encouraging more people to take part in cycling more often.?

Ipswich also warmly welcomed the news. The town?s ambassador for sport, swimming legend Karen Pickering, is busy promoting Ipswich as an Olympics training venue ahead of 2012. She said: ?This is a big boost for our profile and our campaign and I look forward to these championships coming to Ipswich. I shall be in Beijing next month and will be spreading the good news there, too.?

Securing the European Cyclo-Cross Championships for 2012 is the culmination of years of hard work for XRT event organisers Steve Grimwood, Carl Thompson and the Ipswich Bicycle Club.

Grimwood said: ?Ipswich has played host to many top class and ground breaking cyclo-cross events over recent years and we look forward to working with our partners to make the 2012 championships and the events leading up to it a huge success.?

?We also hope that these events will inspire our local athletes and provide an opportunity for them to compete at the highest level.”