Finishing line back in sight as women’s cycle race returns to boost business
THE final stage of the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour is to be held in the county, it has been announced this month – with the proposed route finishing in Kettering for the second year.
The last stage of the five-day international women’s cycling event will take place between Northampton and Kettering on Sunday June 19, attracting some of the world’s best female riders, huge crowds – and hence a big boost for businesses.
Last year’s race saw a massive 67,500 people line the streets to cheer on the cyclists and give the local economy a £1 million boost. The event also inspired a reported 65 per cent of spectators to cycle more often.
Cllr Heather Smith is the deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council. She said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce the start and finish points for the Northamptonshire stage of this summer’s Aviva Women’s Tour.
“I urge people across the county to go along and support the riders on what is sure to be a fantastic day – and, hopefully, the crowds will be inspired to get cycling, too!”
Mick Bennett, Aviva Women’s Tour race director, said: “Having hosted the first ever stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour in 2014, it is fitting that Northamptonshire will now have the chance to host the final stage of this year’s race.
“The final day will be an undulating stage taking in some new climbs areas of Northamptonshire that we’ve haven’t visited with the previous two editions.”
Northamptonshire rider Hannah Barnes, who will compete as part of Canyon SRAM Racing team, said: “I travel all over the world racing, so to be able to race along roads I train on is a privilege. All my friends and family can come and watch, which is a real treat.”
The county council has also agreed with SweetSpot that a stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour will be held in the area again next year. As part of the agreement, SweetSpot will also hold a mass-participation cycle event in the county this year and next year to encourage people, in particular women and families, to become more active and get cycling.
For more information, visit: northamptonshire.gov.uk/womenstour
Pictured above HOME GROUND: Cyclist Hannah Barnes lives in the county and will be racing along roads she has trained on in the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour.
Pictured top – HANG OUT THE FLAGS: The Aviva Women’s Tour finish was held in Kettering last year, too.