For the fourth year in a row, The Women’s Tour is returning to Northamptonshire as the county hosts the opening stage of the race today.
Thousands of visitors will line the route, which starts for the first time in Daventry and finishes in Kettering for the third year in a row.
Last year Kettering Market Place hosted the Tour’s grand finale where the overall winner, 2012 Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead, was presented with her winnings in front of a thrilled home crowd.
A record-breaking 80,000 people watched the race across Northamptonshire, with thousands in attendance to loudly cheer on these elite athletes as they crossed the finish line.
This year, the Market Place will once again be transformed, with a 200m final straight running along Sheep Street towards the finish line, podium and viewing areas for fans. We expect the riders to be sprinting into Kettering just before 3pm, but visitors can find an exciting range of activities for all ages in the town centre from 11am.
Join in the fun with all sorts of crazy bikes to have a go on, including bikes that make smoothies, play music and control Scalextric races.
The Women’s Tour brings along its own ‘Tour Village’ into the town centre, showing off goods from sponsors and providing giveaways, and will be complemented by stalls from local cycling clubs and an extended local market running along the High Street.
Also, look out for British Cycling and local schools taking part in sprint races along the finishing straight.
The Council’s London Road and Municipal car parks will be closed on the day but from 10.30am there will be FREE PARKING at Northampton Road Recreation Ground from the access on Lake Avenue, just a 500m walk from the finish line.
In order to host such a popular event there are some inevitable road closures.
Sheep Street and Market Place will be closed from 4.45am until 6pm, while Northampton Road (double roundabout to Sheep Street) and Gipsy Lane will be closed from midday until 4pm and 3pm respectively.
There will also be plenty of opportunities to watch the peloton as it rides through the other towns and villages of the Borough where Desborough and Rothwell have been known to draw big crowds.
All other areas will be rolling road closures starting 10 minutes before the lead car arrives. All times are approximate and will re-open once it is safe to do so.