The Grand Depart of the Women’s Tour is only hours away so here’s a reminder of what to expect on the day of the race.
Nine of the world’s top ten ranked riders, including defending Women’s Tour champion Lizzie Deignan and her Boels Dolmans teammate Anna van der Breggen, the current leader of the UCI Women’s World Tour, will be competing.
All three previous Women’s Tour winners are on the list, with 2015 victor Lisa Brennauer (Canyon//SRAM) and 2014 champion Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling) joining last year’s winner Deignan.
Also racing for Canyon//SRAM will be Northamptonshire’s own Hannah Barnes, the current British champion.
Eight of the field have Olympic medals to their name, including 2016 gold medallists Katie Archibald (Team WNT) and van der Breggen, and bronze medallists from Rio de Janeiro Elisa Longo Borghini and Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle HIGH5).
ROAD CLOSURES & PARKING
The nature and scale of the event requires a number of roads in the town centre to be closed to traffic on the eve of the event as well as on race day.
High Street will be completely closed to traffic from 5pm on today (Tuesday) through to Wednesday afternoon.
Market Square at the top of High Street, St John’s Square behind Daventry Leisure Centre and the Chapel Lane car park will all be closed from 4am until 2pm on Wednesday to accommodate the starting podium and the parking of team support vehicles.
Other car parks in the town will remain open as usual and additional free parking will be made available on Eastern Way.
The road closure will be further extended from about 10am through to Midday on race day to include Brook Street, Tavern Lane, the Tavern Lane/Warwick Street roundabout and small sections of Warwick Street and the B4038.
The stage route will begin at Market Square and take riders down High Street and Tavern Lane before they turn right in the direction of Ashby Road.
They will then make their way up Ashby Road before turning right down Daneholme Avenue and right again down Welton Road, joining Northern Way near the iCon and then heading back to High Street via Abbey Street.
After their second visit to High Street and Tavern Lane, the riders will turn right again, but this time join Eastern Way at the roundabout before heading out of town towards Long Buckby.
This is what is known as the ‘neutralised’ section of the stage. The 91.7-mile race starts properly once the riders have crossed the A5 at Long Buckby Wharf.
The race then passes through the villages of Long Buckby, West Haddon, Guilsborough, Hollowell, Creaton, Haselbech, Naseby, Welford, Sibbertoft, East Farndon and Great Oxendon in our District before heading to the east of the county and the finish line in Kettering shortly after 3pm.
AFTER THE RACE
Anyone bitten by the cycling bug can enter the Tour’s Official Sportive at Delapre Abbey in Northampton on Sunday, June 18. The event gives amateur cyclists the chance to take on one of three routes, including key climbs tackled by the world’s best.
The multi-distance sportive consists of a 10-mile Fun Ride, a 40-mile Challenge Route and an 80-mile Pro Route, with both of the longer routes featuring mechanical support and feed stations. People can find out more at www.tourride.co.uk
Finally the Daventry Cycle Sportive returns on Sunday, 25 June again offering three routes including a 20km leisure ride together with more challenging rides of 50km or 106km.
More information and entry details can be found by searching for Daventry 2017 here.