Women’s Tour a ‘success’ for Northamptonshire

The Women's Tour of Britain races through Desborough. Picture by Steve Nurthen
The Women's Tour of Britain races through Desborough. Picture by Steve Nurthen

The Women’s Tour in Northamptonshire was a big success, organisers and competitors alike say.

The first leg of the inaugural Women’s Tour of Britain took place in the county on Wednesday last week.

The race, which featured some of the world’s top riders, began in Oundle, winding its way through the north of the county before finishing in Northampton.

Debra Harper, Oundle Town Council clerk, who played a key role in organising the town’s hosting of the Grand Depart alongside Cllr Terry Stagg and town centre manager Paula Prince, said the atmosphere had been electric all around the town.

She said: “It was fantastic. It did take a massive amount of work – the organisation to put on such a prestigious and historic event was huge.

“But the support we had from the traders in the town was absolutely amazing.

“When you walked in the town you got a real sense of how the people were engaged. It was a tremendous event and certainly put Oundle on the map.”

In a YouTube video by Dutch team Rabo Liv, Olympic champion Marianne Vos – who took the Women’s Tour title – said: “It’s a beautiful area, and then all the people that are along the route – it’s great, it’s fun and it makes it more easy to race and to race hard.”

County council deputy leader, Cllr Heather Smith, who represents Oundle, said she was pleased so many people turned out to watch and also expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped make the event so successful.

She added: “This is a significant day for women’s cycling and I was very pleased to see so many people lining the streets to cheer on the race.

“It’s been a fantastic event and I hope that the memory of seeing these world-class athletes in Northamptonshire will inspire many of us to get more active and healthy too.”