With just under three weeks to go before the riders saddle up for the Women’s Tour, Northamptonshire residents are being urged by Daventry District Council to turn out and show their support at the race’s Grand Depart.
There will be a carnival atmosphere in the town as elite cyclists from the world’s top teams set off from the High Street at 11am for the first stage of Britain’s leading professional women’s cycle race.
Traditionally, the Grand Depart attracts thousands of spectators, and large crowds are expected to line the town centre’s pavements so fans are urged to arrive early to get a good spot.
Councillor Alan Hills, Daventry District Council’s community, culture and leisure portfolio holder, said: “We’re delighted and honoured to be hosting the Grand Depart of The Women’s Tour in Daventry, which we hope will bring a real economic boost to our businesses as well as inspiring more people to take up cycling and get active.
“Thousands of people from across our local communities turned out to support the race when it visited our District in 2016. And with our increased role in this year’s event, we are hoping it will prove even more popular.
“This is a fabulous opportunity to enjoy a world-class sporting event on our doorstep, so please turn out on Wednesday, June 7 and let’s really show our support for these elite cyclists and make the most of this wonderful event.”
The race – which features some of the biggest names in professional women’s cycling and all three previous Tour champions, Lisa Brennauer, Marianne Vos and Lizzie Deignan (nee Armitstead) – will make its way through several villages in Daventry district on its way to the finish line in Kettering.
The Northamptonshire race is the first stage of a five-day event, which will also visit Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Derbyshire before it heads to London on Sunday, June 11 for a spectacular finish along Regent Street.
Action from the race will be seen by a global audience, with highlights of every stage broadcast daily on ITV4 and made available on demand via the ITV Hub.
This will be the fourth time that Northamptonshire has hosted a stage of the Tour, and Daventry District Council has been working with its partners including Northamptonshire County Council, Everyone Active and event organisers Sweetspot on preparations for the event.
The nature and scale of the event requires a number of roads in the town centre to be closed to traffic on the eve of the event as well as on race day.
High Street will be completely closed to traffic from 5pm on Tuesday, June 6 through to Wednesday afternoon.
Market Square at the top of High Street, St John’s Square behind Daventry Leisure Centre and the Chapel Lane car park will all be closed from 4am until 2pm on Wednesday to accommodate the starting podium and the parking of team support vehicles.
Other car parks in the town will remain open as usual and additional free parking will be made available on Eastern Way.
The road closure will be further extended from about 10am through to Midday on race day to include Brook Street, Tavern Lane, the Tavern Lane/Warwick Street roundabout and small sections of Warwick Street and the B4038.
For the rest of the stage a team will travel about 15 minutes ahead of the race to implement a rolling roadblock.
Daventry town centre will be a fantastic place to see the cyclists up-close, soak in what promises to be a carnival atmosphere, cheer on the riders and get some great photographs.
But there will be lots of other great places in the town and wider district from which to enjoy the action.
The stage route will begin at Market Square and take riders down High Street and Tavern Lane before they turn right in the direction of Ashby Road.
They will then make their way up Ashby Road before turning right down Daneholme Avenue and right again down Welton Road, joining Northern Way near the iCon and then heading back to High Street via Abbey Street.
After their second visit to High Street and Tavern Lane, the riders will turn right again, but this time join Eastern Way at the roundabout before heading out of town towards Long Buckby.
This is what is known as the ‘neutralised’ section of the stage. The 91.7-mile race starts properly once the riders have crossed the A5 at Long Buckby Wharf.
The race then passes through the villages of Long Buckby, West Haddon, Guilsborough, Hollowell, Creaton, Haselbech, Naseby, Welford, Sibbertoft, East Farndon and Great Oxendon in our District before heading to the east of the county and the finish line in Kettering shortly after 3pm.