Two of the world’s elite cyclists have visited Derbyshire ahead of the Women’s Tour which takes place in June.
The prestigious race will take place on Saturday 10 June following the success of last year’s event which saw Lizzie Deignan (née Armitstead) win the stage in an exciting finish in Chesterfield town centre before going on to be the competition’s overall winner.
Riders Gabriella Shaw and Hannah Walker of Sheffield-based team WNT attended the launch event in Chesterfield ahead of the race, which will set off outside Chesterfield Town Hall before setting off on an 81-mile route.
This will see the cyclists race through the Derbyshire Peak District and pass through Wirksworth, Belper, Bolsover and Staveley before finishing in Chesterfield market place.
Gabriella Shaw said: “For us personally it’s going to be our closest to home stage with our title sponsors WNT being based in Sheffield.
“It’s a really exciting prospect for the team to be in the race with such a prestigious stage, the penultimate stage, taking place here.”
Hannah Walker added: “It’s a great stage. It looks really hard but it will be exciting and it will be great for the crowds to come out and watch.”
The Women’s Tour is being jointly brought to the county by Chesterfield Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council.
Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, said: “Two of the council’s key priorities are to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and to boost the local economy.
“Welcoming The Women’s Tour back to the borough gives people the chance to join in the race and take part in activities which will promote the benefits of cycling as well as encouraging them to support local businesses by visiting our shops, bars and cafés.”
Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure said: “Seeing the world’s top women cyclists battling it out on the roads of Derbyshire isn’t something you see every day and will be well worth a watch.
“I hope local people will be inspired to get active and take the opportunity to enjoy what will be an exciting event which will bring visitors from far and wide.”
A range of activities for people to take part in are being planned both in Chesterfield town centre and in towns and villages around the route.
The Women’s Tour will take place between Wednesday 7 and Sunday 11 June. Highlights of every stage will be broadcast on ITV4 and available on demand via the ITV Hub.
The Women’s Tour is a part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, comprising 20 events around the world in 10 different countries.
For more details, visit: www.womenstour.co.uk.