Warwickshire’s streets were lined with spectators who turned out to show their support for the top female professional cycling road race – and they will be back in September when the world’s leading men come to the county
The cheering crowds came out in force for the Warwickshire stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour for the third year running.A total of 17 teams and 102 competitors were given a rousing send-off in Atherstone before battling it out around the county and finishing in Royal Leamington Spa.
The race was officially started by the Mayor of North Warwickshire, Cllr Denise Clews, leader of Warwickshire County Council, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, and the winner of the start flag design competition, Nadia Opalczewska, from St Benedict’s School Roman Catholic Primary School in Atherstone.
The winner of the Warwickshire stage was Sarah Roy from the Mitchelton Scott team, and she was presented with a trophy designed by Beth Murray, from Park Hill Junior School in Kenilworth, along with Cllr Seccombe.
Leader of Warwickshire County Council, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, was thrilled the day was a resounding success for Warwickshire once again.
“It was another wonderful day and I was extremely pleased to see so many people come out and show their support for this fantastic event,” said Izzi.
“This is the third year that Warwickshire has hosted the Women’s Tour and we have a great relationship with the tour organisers, which has been demonstrated with everything that has gone on today.
“It is such a great event that all of our towns, villages and communities can get involved with and get behind and a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that Warwickshire has to offer from its towns to its countryside to a global audience.”
The fourth stage of the Tour of Britain will start in Nuneaton on September 5 and then follow a similar route before the sprint finish in Leamington and three-time world champion and Olympic Gold Medallist, Dani Rowe, is confident it will be another successful day on the sporting calendar.
Rowe, who picked up the jersey for leading British rider, said: “I have competed in the women’s tour since it first begin five years ago, so this is my third time taking part in Warwickshire and I really do like it,” she said.
“It is a really good stage, pretty tough, but I am used to training on these kinds of roads so it has been great, it also helps that the weather has been lovely today.
“Something that does help is there has been so much support out there on the Warwickshire roads and it is a great idea getting the schools out and using the event as a way to inspire children.
“The Tour of Britain is here in September and they will find it a testing day because there is a bit of everything in the county, but that’s what makes it such a good stage.
“For cyclists out there, I would recommend that they come to this part of the world, it is a really nice stage, great scenery and a bit of everything in terms of terrain.”