Derbyshire is to host the penultimate stage of The Women’s Tour on Saturday, June 10, building on the cycle race’s successful visit last year.
Stage four of the world-renowned event will both start and finish in Chesterfield and also take in the likes of Wirksworth, Belper, Bolsover and Staveley.
The 130-kilometre stage will mark the return of Lizzie Armitstead (now Deignan), who won the 2016 Derbyshire stage. It was a key moment in her overall victory in the Women’s Tour when she saw off the challenge of 2014 winner Marianne Vos and 2015 victor Lisa Brennauer.
The Women’s Tour is the UK’s first-ever international stage-race for women, bringing the world’s top riders to compete over five days. Last year, crowds across the High Peak, Derbyshire Dales, Amber Valley and Chesterfield were among the hundreds of thousands of spectators who turned out at the roadside, with many more around the UK watching the ITV4 highlights every evening.
“The 2016 Women’s Tour was a real inspiration to women and girls across the county to get out on their bikes and get active, which we’re continually trying to encourage people to do,” said Hayley Lever, director of Derbyshire Sport.
“From the many schoolchildren who watched the race go by to those in clubs who cycled to take up a place at the side of the road, it was great to see so many people connecting with the race, and we hope it will prove just as popular in 2017.”
Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, Coun Dean Collins added: “Last year’s event was brilliant and attracted lots of cycling enthusiasts and tourists alike. This year’s tour is set to be even bigger and better as it’s on a Saturday which should allow more people to come and experience our fantastic county for themselves.”
Mick Bennett, race director for The Women’s Tour, said: “We are delighted to be returning to Chesterfield and Derbyshire after the success of last year’s stage. It will be a fantastic occasion and attract cycling fans from far and wide.”
All of the world’s top 15 teams will take part in the race, including the world’s number one team, Deignan’s Boels Dolmans.