Second prestigious cycling event stage announced

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THE penultimate stage of the televised OVO Energy Tour of Britain will pass through several Cotswolds locations, it has been announced.

Some of the world’s top men’s riders will compete in the 13-day race, which takes place from 3rd to 10th September.

On Saturday, 9th September, riders will start in Hemel Hempstead and traverse Buckinghamshire before entering the Cotswolds via Charlbury and Shipton Under Wychwood and continuing to Bourton-on-the-Water before turning up the Fosse Way to Moreton-in-Marsh.

Riders will then turn towards Winchcombe and Cleeve Hill before finishing on the Promenade in Cheltenham town centre.

British rider Steve Cummings won last year, with Sir Bradley Wiggins winning in 2013.

The Women’s Tour passes through parts of Stratford on Friday, 9th June, when Warwickshire hosts stage three of the five-tour.

The arrival of the men’s tour in the Cotswolds has been widely welcomed.

Andy Sanders, from Cotswolds Tourism Partnership, said: “The Cotswolds is a superb place for visitors and cyclists of all abilities, offering wonderful countryside, attractions and plenty of cafes and pubs for refreshment.

“The towns and picturesque villages along the route will be excited to welcome the race and we know it will generate lots of interest in cycling now and into the future.

“We are hoping that businesses and communities will engage in the event and it will showcase all the area has to offer”.

Cotswold District Council contributed £10,000 to the bid to bring the tour here.

the council’s tourism manager, Sally Graff, said: “Many local residents will be thrilled to see world-class cyclists up close.

“Additionally, being part of the event should attract a lot of visitors who have not previously sampled the hospitality and attractions of the Cotswolds, and we will be in touch with businesses to make the most of this opportunity.

“We already know that cycling and exploring the outdoors is a great leisure activity for the whole family and also brings many health benefits.”

OVO Energy Tour of Britain race director, Mick Bennett, added: “The tour has passed through Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds on a number of occasions, but this will be the first stage to finish in the area.”