Fresh on the heels of its own two-wheeled festival, Daventry turned international for the afternoon as the OVO Women’s Tour rode into town.
Hosting the finish of Stage Two after last year’s Grand Depart success, the town’s High Street gradually began filling up from 1pm as a crowd gathered to watch the women whizz through Daventry once, and then a second time - around 30 minutes later - for a photo finish.
The morning’s blustery conditions did make things a little more difficult for the riders but the wind did clear the way for the sun to peek through the clouds.
And spectators weren’t just pressed up against the metal barriers lining the street. Walking along High Street you could see patrons in the stores looking out the shop windows, sensing the excitement build as first of the police motorcycles passed through, then the team cars, and at last the riders.
Keen cyclist Mark Humphreys cycled into Daventry from Barby with some friends purposefully for the event.
“It’s fantastic. All the more support we can get for the event the better,” said Mark, a member of Rugby Velo.
“It’s great to have the town support this and it’s fabulous to have a finish this year.
“It’s far better to have the finish, it really draws the crowd.”
The Women’s Tour was also good for some of the town’s businesses, with two managers of two High Street restaurants both reporting some extra customers thanks to the race.
“It does put us on the map,” said Buddies manager Sally Chambers.
“We don’t usually get anything like this so it’s nice to have chosen Daventry to do it.”
Dennis Potapenko, manager of Mosaic Grill, said: “It’s definitely a good thing for business around here.”
“It’s definitely a good thing for Daventry,” added Mr Potapenko, before heading out to giveaway baklava to spectators.
Sergeant Sam Dobbs and his neighbourhood police team were all present at the event, engaging with the public.
He said that many of the people he spoke to had echoed Sally’s thoughts when by saying the Women’s Tour put Daventry on the map.
And we would be inclined to agree. Yes the town was a little quieter than usual in the morning - one person in Waitrose said the Bowen Square car park was “eerily” empty for most of the day - perhaps as some chose to avoid road closures and opting to shop on a different day, but it’s positive to see Daventry being considered for these types of events.
By proving to be able hosts it could well lead to bigger and better things coming to town in future. So let’s celebrate that.