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VIDEO: Council leader hits new heights as Women's Tour countdown begins

THE leader of Warwickshire County Council has completed the ascent of one of south Warwickshire's steepest road hills to help promote the upcoming OVO Energy Women's Tour.

The third stage of the cycling race will take place in Warwickshire on Friday, 15th June, starting in Atherstone in the north and finishing in Leamington, via Stratford district.

Along the way, the 102 riders will make their way up the 14 per cent Edge Hill - and Cllr Izzi Seccombe accepted the challenge of making it to the top herself.

She enlisted the help of Rugby-based world endurance cycle record holder. James Golding, who has raised more than £3million for charity after twice overcoming cancer - and a state-of-the-art electric-assist bike!

Cllr Seccombe admitted to not having ridden a bike for "some time” and said she was "in awe" of the riders who get to the top solely under their own steam.

“I had a great deal of help from James and my bike but cycling up Edge Hill certainly made me realise just how fit the women athletes have to be to complete five stages in successive days without the assistance I had,” she said.

“It also underlined a couple of other important factors. Firstly, just how magnificent the countryside in Warwickshire is, and why the organisers were keen to return here, because the views were stunning."

Cllr Seccombe added: “When we first held a stage two years ago it made a £2million impact to the local economy and we hope that will be higher this year.

"The stage will be viewed in more than 100 countries across the world and will be a great showcase for the assets we have.”

James, who is a finalist in the Pride Of Britain Awards as Fundraiser of the Year and who covered 1,766 miles in seven days for take his record, said that Cllr Seccombe appeared to have been bitten by the cycling bug.

“You still have to put in the effort on an electric-assist bike, and Izzi flew up the hill – it really was quite impressive,” he said

“The electric-assist bikes mean cycling has become even more accessible for all ages and abilities and, like Izzi, even if you haven’t ridden for decades you can now jump on a bike and enjoy riding with friends, groups and some of the toughest hills around."

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