Crowds of people turned out to cheer on the world’s top female cyclists as the battled it out across the north of the county.
The first stage of the Women’s Tour started in Daventry at 11am yesterday before making its way to Kettering for the end of the first stage of the tour.
Leah Hardie took her three-year-old daughter Megan along to watch the race in Corby as the riders passed through at about 1pm.
She said: “I think it’s great that an event like this is in Corby.
“There could be future champions watching it and it’s really inspiring for people.”
Alan Marks said: “I’ve never watched cycling before and I’m excited.
“To have some of the best cyclists in Corby is fantastic.”
Irene Dodson said: “Last year I went to Kettering but I’m really pleased that it’s in Corby this year.
“Lots of people have turned out and it’s a lovely day for it.”
Thrapston Town Council provided free activities as the race passed through for the first time, including pedal-powered smoothie bikes, Scalextric challenges and free bike checks.
Local knitters ‘yarn bombed’ parts of the town in celebration, and in Cedar Drive people were able to have a go with spin bikes, keep fit classes and a cycle circuit.
Mayor of Thrapston Sam Cribb said: “We are very excited and honoured to have the Women’s Tour coming through Thrapston for the first time.
“We are very proud of our beautiful, friendly town, so we have gone all out to ensure we provide fun and healthy activities for all the family.
“Hopefully this will be the first of many years that we can host part of the wonderful Women’s Tour.”
As the first stage of the tour came to an end in Kettering’s Market Place, hundreds of people lined the final stretch and welcomed the cyclists home.
As the music played and the crowds built up, the anticipation grew for people wanting to see the cycling stars.
People of all ages, including many cyclists, were there to watch the winner Katarzyna Niewiadoma cross the line and then wait for the rest of the peloton to arrive several minutes later.
County council leader Heather Smith and Kettering mayor Scott Edwards were among the dignitaries who helped present various awards and jerseys at the end of the stage, including for the race leader.