Rushden is gearing up to welcome the world’s top female cyclists next week

Last year's Women's Tour in Kettering
Last year's Women's Tour in Kettering

The countdown is on to Rushden welcoming the OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2018 to the town.

Rushden Lakes and Waitrose of Rushden are proud to be the headline supporters of Stage Two of The OVO Energy Women’s Tour, which sets off from Rushden Hall on Thursday, June 14.

The route for Stage Two of the Women's Tour from Rushden to Daventry

The route for Stage Two of the Women's Tour from Rushden to Daventry

Both companies will be represented at the starting line where 102 riders from 25 countries, including 12 reigning national champions and five former World Road Race champions will compete for the title of race champion.

Steven North, leader of East Northamptonshire Council and member of Rushden Town Council, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Rushden Lakes and Waitrose of Rushden who are supporting this exciting event coming to our town.

“Northamptonshire has played host to The OVO Energy Women’s Tour many times and to have Stage Two of this year’s race start in Rushden is a fantastic achievement for residents and businesses.

“Our town has so much to showcase at this unique event and we’re delighted to have the support of two of our biggest local retailers, both of whom encourage healthy lifestyles and are active in the local community.”

Paul Rich, centre manager at Rushden Lakes, said: “It’s a pleasure for us to be supporting Stage Two of The OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2018.

“During the launch day at Rushden Lakes, there was a real buzz and it was fantastic to see cyclists, representatives from the local councils as well as the organisations mascot, come out for the launch.

“We would like to wish the cyclists the best of luck with the entire tour and we look forward to showing our support to them on June 14 when Stage Two begins at Rushden Hall.”

Laura Moore, deputy branch manager at Waitrose in Rushden, said: “Waitrose Rushden is truly delighted to be sponsoring The OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2018.

“As a large business which has been in the town for many years, it is a huge honour to be a part of this amazing event.

“Good luck to all the riders who are entering.”

The race starts at 10.30am in Rushden Hall Park and will go through the High Street before heading out of the town towards Daventry.

For full route details, go to www.womenstour.co.uk/stages/stage-2/

Members of the public are encouraged to cheer on the peloton as they head off from the park or to wave them on along the High Street.

A full programme of activities for invited local school children will take place in the park after the race start.

For details of Rushden events in the run up to and after The OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2018, go to www.rushdentowncouncil.gov.uk/

Key facts about last year’s Women’s Tour:

- There were more than 400,000 spectators at the roadside across the five stages

- It had a net economic impact of £10.7 million for the whole event

_ It was broadcast in 100 television markets around the world, including ITV4 in the UK

- The race was won overall by Polish champion Kasia Niewiadoma