Stratford to host start of women's international cycling race
STRATFORD will be the starting point for a international cycling race this summer that will feature some of the world’s best riders.
The town has been chosen to host the ‘grand départ’ for the Women’s Tour on Wednesday, 7th June.
More than 100 of the world’s best riders will set out from Stratford into the Warwickshire countryside on stage one of the race, which finishes in Leamington.
Stratford District Council has set aside £15,000 to support the race, which gets national and international TV coverage.
Warwickshire will feature in two of the 2023 event’s five stages, as Coleshill is the starting point for stage four on Saturday, 10th June.
Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said: “Few places have embraced the Women’s Tour as warmly as Warwickshire, so we’re thrilled to be working with Warwickshire County Council and partners across the county once again to bring the event back in June.
“I know that there will be great enthusiasm for the grand départ, which will provide a day-long showcase for the county,”
Warwickshire County Council is a big supporter of the event, which it says provides a great boost for the local economy. It estimated that two previous stage finishes in Leamington were watched by more than 20,000 spectators and generated more than £750,000 for the town’s economy.
Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: “Our county has a rich history of hosting high-level cycling events having played host to both the men’s and women’s stages of the Tour of Britain over the past few years as well as being chosen as the location for the Commonwealth Games Road Races in 2022.
“Last summer was a true demonstration of Warwickshire’s reputation as a world-class host for cycling and cyclists and this year’s Women’s Tour is a wonderful opportunity to build on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games.
“As well as being tremendous free entertainment for the spectators who line the roads of the route, the tour is of huge economic benefit to the area.
“From the south of the county hosting the grand depart to the north hosting racing on a weekend day - both fantastic firsts for Warwickshire - residents and business across the county will have the chance to celebrate and embrace cycling as the tour passes through their area, and take advantage of the commercial benefits from increased numbers of customers and tourists.”
Following the start in Stratford, the tour will continue with a stage between Northampton and Ampthill (8th June). Day three see riders tackle a gruelling route from Dalby Forest to Guisborough via the North York Moors. After the Coleshill to Derby stage, this year’s champion will be crowned following a circuit race around the centre of Birmingham on Sunday, 11th June.
Further details of this year’s race, including competing teams, leaders’ jerseys and stage routes, will be revealed in the coming weeks.