A massive 80,000 people turned out to support the riders for the Northamptonshire stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour this summer.
The world class cycling race came to Northamptonshire in June, starting in Daventry and finishing in Kettering after a spectacular 147.5km race through the county.
The event brought a £1.75million boost to the local economy though spectators, cyclists and media personnel spending on things like accommodation, food and drink, and merchandise.
According to the official visitor survey, 61 per cent of people who watched the race also said they felt inspired to cycle more often.
A mass participation cycling event called Tour Ride Northamptonshire was held in June just after the OVO Energy Women’s Tour to capitalise on the popularity of cycling and 350 people took part.
Cllr Heather Smith, council leader at Northamptonshire County Council, which has brought the Women’s Tour to the county every year since 2013, said: “The Women’s Tour is one of my favourite events of the year and it never fails to amaze me how many people turn out all over the county to cheer on the riders.
“It is an important event for us as it promotes Northamptonshire as a tourist destination while also allowing us to showcase the fantastic health and wellbeing benefits of cycling.
“I’m incredibly proud that Northamptonshire County Council has been associated with the Women’s Tour since its inception in 2013 and am delighted to confirm that we will be welcoming it back to the county next summer.”
Cllr Alan Hills, community, culture and leisure portfolio holder at Daventry District Council, said: “We were delighted and honoured to host the Grand Depart of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour on what proved to be a very memorable occasion for our district.
“Thousands of people turned out to support the riders and take in the spectacle, and I’m pleased to see the positive effects the event had on both the local economy, and in encouraging people to take up sport. We’re looking forward to the Tour returning to Northamptonshire in 2018 when we hope to play another important role in the event.”
Cllr Lloyd Bunday, Kettering Borough Council’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for community & leisure, said: “For the third year in a row, hosting a Women’s Tour stage finish on Kettering Market Place was a huge success. Each year it has brought thousands of visitors to the area and created an amazing atmosphere in the town.
“I’m delighted to see that the report confirms what a positive impact the event had, especially for those working in tourism, hospitality and cycling and I’d like to thank everyone who came to Kettering as well as those who lined the route through the borough.”
Find out more
To see photos from this year's event and to find out more about cycling opportunities in Northamptonshire, visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/womenstour.