Women’s cycle race route revealed
Full details of the route of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour professional cycling race have been unveiled.
It will start in Henley with a Big Bike Breakfast on the morning of the race, Wednesday 12 June before crowds cheer off competitors in the 145 kilometre-leg that will finish outside Blenheim Palace.
Oxfordshire’s county, city and district councils announced last month that a stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, the UK’s most prestigious women’s cycle race, had been agreed to race through the county for the next three years, in partnership with event organisers SweetSpot Group.
From Henley, stage three will traverse the Chilterns via Pishill to Watlington, before returning via the climb of Britwell Hill to Sonning Common and Goring.
Crossing the River Thames at Wallingford, the route will pass through Didcot, Harwell and Wantage, crossing the Vale of White Horse to Faringdon, before looping through the West Oxfordshire towns of Burford, Charlbury and finally Woodstock in the closing kilometres.
Oxfordshire is anticipating economic and health benefits from hosting the prestigious event, with cycling fans expected to visit the county to watch the race, generating additional business for restaurants, bars, hotels, B&Bs and shops.
In a comparable stage in last year’s race in Warwickshire, additional local expenditure linked directly to the event totalled £2m by around 100,000 spectators. Nearly two-thirds (63%) came from outside the county and 67% of spectators said they were inspired to cycle more often.
Yvonne Rees, Chief Executive of Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Women’s Tour to Oxfordshire, with a start in Henley, a tour of our fantastic countryside and the finish at Blenheim Palace – this will be a fantastic stage.
“I am really excited about inspiring more of us to get on our bikes and be active. Let’s use 12 June to kick start our ambitions – plus show the world the county at its best.”
OVO Energy Women’s Tour Race Director Mick Bennett, said: “To have our 2019 stage – the first ever to take place in Oxfordshire – start in Henley will provide the most incredible backdrop and leave our world-class field with a truly unforgettable memory and reinforce the prestige of the event."