The world’s best cyclists will be whizzing through Oxfordshire later this year for the first time, it was announced yesterday (Wednesday).
The OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2019 will be making its way through the county, including west Oxfordshire, on Wednesday, June 12.
The race will end at Blenheim Palace having begun in south Oxfordshire – the full details of the course will be released in the coming weeks.
Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Women’s Tour to Oxfordshire because it will bring an enormous economic boost to our thriving communities, inspiring more people to get their bikes out of the shed.
“Oxfordshire is the perfect backdrop for this race and we look forward to showing off the county at its best.”
All the county’s councils have secured a three-year deal for an Oxfordshire stage with race organisers SweetSpot.
While Blenheim Palace is the closest place the Women’s Tour will get to Banbury, it is hoped the route can incorporate Cherwell district in the coming years.
Cherwell District Council leader Barry Wood said the whole county will be cheering on the 100 or so riders.
Last year’s stage in Warwickshire, which took in Edgehill, Burton Dassett Hills and Kineton, caused around £2m of expenditure by 100,000 spectators, with many saying they were inspired to cycle.
Race director Mick Bennett said: “To have our 2019 stage – the first ever to take place in Oxfordshire – finish in the grounds of the stunning Blenheim Palace will provide the most incredible backdrop; and leave our world-class field with a truly unforgettable memory and reinforce the prestige of the event.”