Hundreds of people are expecting to line the streets of Northamptonshire today (Wednesday) as the inaugural Women’s Tour of Britain comes to the county.
The Women’s Tour will bring world-class women’s cycling to the UK in the country’s first ever international stage-race, bringing the world’s top riders to compete against Britain’s Olympic heroines.
Over 100 of the best female riders, including past and current Olympic medallists and World Champions representing 17 trade and national teams will be competing to become the first ever Women’s Tour champion.
The tour will begin at 10am in Oundle and the cyclists will take on a 57.5 mile route through the county including Grafton Underwood, Boughton House, Rushton, Desborough, Harrington, Brixworth, Spratton, Chapel Brampton, Althorp and Rothersthorpe, before finishing in Northampton town centre at around 1.26pm.
Tomorrow’s route (Thursday) will also include some parts of Northamptonshire including Naseby, Brixworth and Sywell.
Here are some key timings to help you plan your viewing schedule Cycle Tour click here
British Cycling will be offering Go Ride sprint races for budding cyclists, using the finishing straight along Derngate before the Women’s Tour arrives. The sessions will run from 11am to 12.30pm.
In the Market Square there will be a number of information stands and attractions for the public to take part in.
Northamptonshire Highways has a cycle road show at the finish area of the tour. It will include crazy bikes, Ministry of Bikes Bomberdrome, stationary bikes on rollers, plus bike-powered equipment, such as a cycle-powered Scalextric and smoothie maker.
Northampton Leisure Trust will be bringing their Trilogy Gym to the town centre to offer 10 to 15 minute Spin taster sessions. Spinning has grown to be one of the most popular forms of indoor exercise. Spinning on a regular basis will build your core strength and leg strength and your cardiovascular fitness. All classes will challenge the rider mentally and physically regardless of their skill level.
British Cycling will be offering the latest tips and advice from the experts. A spokesman said: “However you ride your bike and whatever your ability, you will find comprehensive advice to help improve your riding plus there will be a range of information some new local cycling initiatives including Skyride Locals and social cycling groups.”
Breeze, which is inspiring more women to get back on their bikes, will be on hand to give advice on how to get involved with the organisation in the county.
In the afternoon, British Cycling is holding a Go Ride Schools Competition, from 2pm to 4pm, giving an opportunity for secondary school children to get into the spirit of the Women’s Tour, with a range of sprints and endurance races as part of a level 2 School Games Competition.
WHY ARE THE ROAD CLOSURES HAPPENING?
Northamptonshire is hosting Stage 1 of the first ever Women’s Tour cycling event on Wednesday 7th May, bringing world-class women’s cycling to the UK in the country’s first ever international stage-race – the world’s top riders competing against Britain’s Olympic heroines. Entrants include GB riders Laura Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, Lizzie Armistead and Northamptonshire’s own Hannah Barnes who will all be pitting their skills against multi World Champion Marianne Voss, considered by many to be the finest cyclist of her generation.
Starting in Oundle at 11am the event will deploy a rolling road closure (a 20min bubble) around the peloton as they head the 57 miles into Northampton. With a town centre finish the roads need to be closed for longer with a large amount of infrastructure (crowd barriers, gantries, banners, etc) needing to be put in place ahead of the riders anticipated arrival at 1.40pm.
WHICH TOWN CENTRE ROADS ARE AFFECTED?
The town centre road closures will be implemented in 2 phases. Phase 1 impact those located within St.Giles Church, Guildhall, Beckets Park triangle. Phase 2 impacts the Bedford Road between the bottom of Cliftonville and the Cheyne Walk/Victoria Promenade junction.
The closures start at 4.30am. Limited access for vehicles will be managed by event staff and volunteers from 4.30am until 9.30am although this cannot be absolutely guaranteed. From 9.30am until 4.00pm NO vehicular access will be permitted.
WHERE CAN THE STAFF/VISITORS OF BUSINESSES LOCATED WITHIN THESE AREAS PARK?
To be guaranteed vehicular movement on the 7th May the best advice is to avoid parking within the road closure areas. The main town centre public car parks of St.Johns, St.Michaels and Mayorhold are all accessible all day.
Anyone wishing to enter/exit the road closure areas on 7th May should note that on safety grounds access between 4.30am and 7.30pm will be extremely limited and only managed where possible and under the strict direction of the stewards.
IS ST JOHN’S CAR PARK ACCESSIBLE?
Yes, at all times, via the roundabout that also acts as entrance to Morrison’s supermarket. The road closure of Victoria Promenade will begin on the roundabout exit.
IS MORRISON’S SUPERMARKET ACCESSIBLE?
Yes, at all times. See above.
WHAT IF WE HAVE DELIVERIES BEING MADE DURING THE DAY?
The best advice is to re-arrange for a different date if possible. Otherwise, the delivery needs to be made prior to 9.30am or after 4.00pm. Even outside of those times it needs to be noted that the road closures are actually in place between 4.30am to 7.30pm so access will only be permitted where it is possible. Event staff and volunteers on the road closure points will do their best to get vehicles in and out but will have to restrict access if it is a matter of safety.
I’M A RESIDENT IN THE ROAD CLOSURE AREA. WILL I BE ABLE TO DRIVE IN AND OUT DURING THE DAY?
The easiest time to manage entry and exit to the area, under the direction of the stewards, will be prior to 9.30am and after 4.00pm you should allow for some delay as movement can only be managed when safe to do so.
Between 9.30am and 4.00pm vehicle movement will be far more restricted, particularly around the time of the rider’s arrival between midday and 2.00pm.