Businesses gear up for Women’s Tour boom

Businesses such as the Tollemache Arms are looking forward to the tour
Businesses such as the Tollemache Arms are looking forward to the tour

The start of the Women’s Tour is less than a week away.

And businesses in towns and villages along the route are gearing up to cope with the extra business the event is expected to generate

As this is the event’s first year it is difficult to gauge how much it will be worth to the towns it passes through but a spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “An assessment carried out following the 2013 Tour of Britain found that the economic impact to the UK was over £27m thanks to the event.

“A similar independent economic impact report will be produced following the Women’s Tour and while this is a different event and only in its first year, we are confident that there will be a positive benefit to the county.”

Oundle is hosting the Grand Depart and has organised a range of events beforehand to draw people to the town.

Town centre manager Paula Prince said she had no figures at the moment about the economic impact of the tour on the town but added: “Oundle is amazed, excited and proud to host the Grand Depart of the Friends Life Women’s Tour.

“We are proud as this is the first women’s race to get the same elite status as men’s races.

“Cycling is very popular around here and we are thrilled to be part of living history.

“Come and celebrate with us, look at and see all the fun things taking part and come and join in.”

The first stage passes through various villages en route to Northampton including Harrington.

Jess Warren, trainee assistant manager at the Tollemache Arms in the village, said: “The villagers are all very excited about the tour coming through the village.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the spectators. We don’t get a lot of passing trade so it’s great to have the tour coming through the village so that people get to see it and the Tollemache Arms.”

Sprint action

The sprinters taking part in The Women’s Tour will compete for the YodelDirect jersey after Yodel, the UK’s leading independent parcel carrier, announced its door-to-door parcel service will be sponsoring the intermediate sprints and points jersey.

Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel, said: “We are very excited to be able to announce YodelDirect’s sponsorship of the Women’s Tour, which is a welcome and long overdue innovation in the UK cycling calendar.”

Highlights of each day’s racing will be screened on ITV4 at 9pm.