Women’s Tour Rides Through Oundle for Second Time in Two Years

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In June 2015 the Aviva Women’s Tour will be returning to Oundle for the second time in two years.

The second Women’s Tour, now sponsored by Aviva, takes place from Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 June, again taking place over five stages with daily highlights from ITV4. Starting from Bury St Edmunds, subsequent stages will be held in Suffolk and Essex, before Stage Three sees the race return to Northamptonshire.

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Last year in May, Oundle was bustling with excitement after being chosen for Stage One of the Friends Life Women’s Tour. This was a great honour, as Oundle was not only hosting the opening of the event, but marking the start of the first ever women’s tour in the UK. The race director Mick Bennett said Oundle gave the tour ‘a great send-off’.

Last year the tour showcased the world’s most talented female cyclists, and the Market Place was filled with thousands of spectators. Stage One of the tour last year was a 93.8km leg on the relatively flat roads from Oundle to Northampton.

Stage Three will start in Oundle before heading out in the direction of King’s Cliffe. The route then runs westerly passing through Corby, Desborough and Naseby, drops down through Cottesbrooke and back on itself for the final run in to the finish in the Market Place of Kettering.

Spectators in Oundle will have a chance to see the riders come through town twice. The peloton will start in the Market Place and travel down Glapthorn Road. It will go to Glapthorn and out towards Benefield before looping back into town via Benefield Road. It will then turn onto Milton Road, go back up Glaphorn Road and onto Cotterstock Road towards Fotheringhay.

Sixteen of the world’s top teams will be coming to Oundle to compete in the race. Each team will consist of six cyclists.

The teams include: Ali Cipollini, Bigla Pro Cycling, Boes Dolmans, Germany, Liv plantur, Lotto Soudal, Matrix Fitness, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Orica AIS, Rabo Liv, Pearl Uzumi Sports Tours International, Poitou Charentes-Futuroscope 86, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, USA, Velocio SRAM and Wiggle Honda.

After the huge success of the tour last year, it is hoped that we will be welcoming back many big names.

Last year’s winner of the first leg, Emma Johansson will be returning to stake her claim for back-to-back Northamptonshire wins.

Northamptonshire professional cyclist, Hannah Barnes said last year’s event was ‘unbelievable’ and the prospect of the race returning was ‘very exciting’.

Sam Trott