Northamptonshire to host longest stage of Women’s Tour in June

Cyclist Helen Wyman at Kettering Market Place at the finish of the third stage of this years Friends Life Women's Cycle Tour. Helen is pictured with Oundle Mayor Cllr Gwen Radcliffe and Kettering Mayor Cllr Duncan Bain, Akeen Ali, Heather Smith and Guy Elliott NNL-150316-132333009
Cyclist Helen Wyman at Kettering Market Place at the finish of the third stage of this years Friends Life Women's Cycle Tour. Helen is pictured with Oundle Mayor Cllr Gwen Radcliffe and Kettering Mayor Cllr Duncan Bain, Akeen Ali, Heather Smith and Guy Elliott NNL-150316-132333009

Northamptonshire is set to host the longest stage of the 2015 Friends Life Women’s Tour.

The world’s best female cyclists will be travelling along an 86-mile route through the county on Friday, June 19 as part of the third stage of the tour.

Cyclist Helen Wyman at Kettering Market Place at the finish of the third stage of this years Friends Life Women's Cycle Tour. Helen is pictured with Oundle Mayor Cllr Gwen Radcliffe and Kettering Mayor Cllr Duncan Bain NNL-150316-132318009

Cyclist Helen Wyman at Kettering Market Place at the finish of the third stage of this years Friends Life Women's Cycle Tour. Helen is pictured with Oundle Mayor Cllr Gwen Radcliffe and Kettering Mayor Cllr Duncan Bain NNL-150316-132318009

The cyclists will start in Oundle and travel through a number of towns and villages in the county including Gretton, Corby, Rothwell, Desborough and Brixworth, before finishing in Kettering town centre.

Last year, Northamptonshire hosted the first-ever stage of the Friends Life Women’s Tour, from Oundle to Northampton, won by Sweden’s then world number one Emma Johansson of the Orica AIS team, who will also return this June.

Race Director Mick Bennett said: “Northamptonshire played a key role in the first ever Friends Life Women’s Tour, so we are delighted to be returning to the county this June.

“The county combines beautiful, typical English countryside with some very testing roads and climbs. At the longest stage of the race, we expect it to be a key element of the Friends Life Women’s Tour and set things up perfectly going into the weekend’s stages.”

The Friends Life Women’s Tour will run from Wednesday 17th to Sunday 21st June 2015, finishing in Hemel Hempstead.

Councillor Heather Smith, deputy leader at Northamptonshire County Council, said: “This world-class event offers a wonderful opportunity for us to bring people together and inspire them to think about their own health and fitness and hopefully get cycling too.

“Last year we saw more than 600 people take up cycling as a result of led cycle rides organised as part of the Women’s Tour and 11 schools have set up new cycling clubs.

“This is a fantastic legacy from the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour and we will be working to build on that as excitement builds for the tour’s return to the county this summer.”