Pick your spot for the Women's Tour professional cycling race pedals through Bloxham, Banbury, Hook Norton and Sibford with a sprint to the line on South Bar

Cycle race lovers are invited to pick their spot for the Women's Tour professional cycling race when it travels through Banburyshire in early October.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 12:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 12:32 pm

Residents between Banbury, Bicester, Oxford and Abingdon will now be able to pick their spot, ready to cheer on elite riders when this year’s comes to Oxfordshire on Monday, October 4.

From the start line on Bicester’s Sheep Street, the race will complete a short northern loop, passing secondary school students at The Cooper School, before heading south past Graven Hill to Islip and on to Oxford. The peloton will then sweep past the John Radcliffe Hospital and into south Oxfordshire via Blackbird Leys. The stage will reach its southernmost point passing the Culham Science Centre before heading north through Abingdon, Eynsham, and past Woodstock.

The riders will pass through Bloxham before arriving in Banbury for the first time. They will then head back out to complete a short loop of Hook Norton and Sibford Ferris. Returning to Banbury they will pass the Cross and the Fine Lady statue, with a sprint to the line expected on South Bar Street.

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The thrills of the Women's Cycling professional tour come to north Oxfordshire in early October

You can view the full journey the riders will take on the route map here.

Women’s Tour Race Director Mick Bennett, said: “Oxfordshire is a historic and world-famous county; therefore, I am looking forward to the Tour returning to this beautiful county for a second year, following our first visit in 2019.”

Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “It is an honour for us to have the first stage of this prestigious race visiting our towns and villages. Cycling is not just an elite sport, it’s an increasingly important mode of transport and way of staying active. Women’s road cycling is growing in stature every year and I think that seeing the world’s best in action will encourage more of our residents to take to two wheels in their everyday lives.”

This is the second year that Oxfordshire will host the Women’s Tour; part of a three-year commitment that began in 2019 (the 2020 race was postponed). Different routes are planned each year to showcase the county’s diversity to a national and international audience.

Oxfordshire is expecting 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.

About 100 professional riders will weave their way through towns, villages and rural areas, inspiring local schools to organise themed sport and fitness lessons. Highlights of the race will also be screened on ITV4.

Families are expected to line the route to cheer on competitors, turning the event into an exciting community spectacle. Spectators will be encouraged to use healthy and environmentally friendly transport to reach vantage points to watch the race.

The Women’s Tour is Britain’s longest-running professional women’s race and part of the prestigious UCI Women’s World Tour series.