The Women’s Tour 2017 will come through Oundle on Wednesday 7th June as part of the Stage 1 route from Daventry to Kettering. The event involves five stages and will conclude on Sunday 11th June in central London, starting and finishing on Regent Street.
The Tour has been a great success since its start in 2014 with Oundle regularly featuring as part of the course. In 2014 the whole event, which was the first ever Women’s Tour in Britain, was started from the Market Place in Oundle and was a great accolade for the town. It received high levels of support from residents and cycling fans alike which helped in securing Oundle as the starting location for the third Stage of the race in 2015.
Although Oundle does not play as big a role in this year’s race, it was a key component of the first ever Women’s UK tour. NCC Councillor Heather Smith was instrumental in bringing the race to Oundle. She said: ‘The race has now expanded considerably. The cyclists particularly wanted to come through Oundle as they have such happy memories of the welcome they received.’
This year Oundle is not a start or finish point in the tour but the cyclists will pass through the town during the first stage from Daventry to Kettering.
The tough Stage 1 route includes steep inclines such as Rockingham Hill, before passing through local villages Upper Benefield and Glapthorn, reaching Oundle at around 13.30pm. The route will take the riders along Glapthorn Road to the town centre and along West Street to the Stoke Doyle Road, providing excellent opportunities for spectators.
The race will then continue to Stoke Doyle and Aldwinkle on its way to Kettering.
The next three stages see the race travel from Stoke-on-Trent to Staffordshire, Atherstone to Royal Leamington Spa and Chesterfield to Derbyshire before the final stage in London.
A full rider list from the 17 international teams competing this year is to be released in early June.
The organisers have already confirmed that international cycling stars Lizzie Deignan, Lisa Brennauer and defending champion Marianne Vos will all be on the start line this year.
The Tour has this year teamed up with OVO Energy who are the title partner of the event. Other partners include Skoda, Wiggle, Breast Cancer Care, Adnams and Eisberg.
By Ruby Goodall