THE Women’s Tour cycling event will return to Warwickshire in June – but the finish line will not be Stratford-upon-Avon as it was last year.
Leamington Spa will this year host the end of the stage that will snake its way through the county on Friday, 9th June, for stage three of the five-stage race.
The final route has yet to be confirmed, but initial indications are that will take in south Warwickshire, but not the centre of Stratford as it did last year.
Last year Warwickshire hosted stage two, with an estimated 75,000 spectators lining the route.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Warwickshire County Council leader portfolio holder for economic development, said: “Playing host to Stage 2 of this high-profile cycling tour offered a chance to showcase our county at its best.
“The huge numbers of visitors meant that many local businesses were able to benefit from the boost it gave to the region and we are looking forward already to the race returning to Warwickshire.”
All of the world’s top 15 teams will take part in the race, which is a part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, including the world’s number one team Boels Dolmans, of defending race champion Lizzie Deignan, and Wiggle HIGH5, ensuring British fans can again look forward to cheering on the world’s best riders. In addition the British-based Drops and WNT teams will complete the 17 team field.
The Women’s Tour will begin in Northamptonshire on Wednesday, 7th June, with the opening stage between Daventry and Kettering, before the second stage includes Staffordshire and the city of Stoke-on-Trent prior to the racers coming to Warwickshire and proceeding to Chesterfield and Derbyshire.
London will then host the final stage on Sunday, 11th June.
Race director, Mick Bennett, said: “This year’s route will combine testing climbs and beautiful scenery in the heart of England with the London finish, which will be an undoubted highlight of the sporting calendar.
“Counties such as Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Derbyshire have embraced The Women’s Tour, so this year’s edition will see yet more of the huge roadside crowds cheering on the world’s best.”