The world’s best female cyclists will be coming to Warwickshire once again this year - and their exact route through the county has now been revealed.
Elite riders racing in the Women’s Tour will contest Stage Three in the county on Friday June 9, and their 93-mile route will take them through many nearby towns and villages.
After starting in Atherstone, riders will race through Kenilworth, Leek Wootton, Guys Cliffe, Warwick, Moreton Morrell, Wellesbourne, Kineton, Fenny Compton, Ladbroke, Southam and Radford Semele before finishing outside the Town Hall in Leamington.
This is the second year in a row the tour has come to Warwickshire after a successful visit last year.
It is estimated 75,000 people lined the streets to watch the race last year, with many of those visiting from outside the county.
Mick Bennett, race director of the Women’s Tour, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be returning to Warwickshire again in 2017.
“The stunning countryside in the county is perfect for lots of exciting racing and we’re sure the world’s best riders will put on quite a show for all the thousands of spectators that come out to support.”
The riders will set off from Atherstone at 10am, although the first 15 minutes of the race will be ‘neutral’ where the race is non-competitive.
Once they reach Birchley Heath Road in Birchley Heath at 10.15am, the race begins properly.
Depending on how fast the cyclists are racing, they will enter Kenilworth between 10.58 and 11.08am via Coventry Road. They will continue along New Street, turn right to head up Fieldgate Lane before turning left and coming down Castle Road past Kenilworth Castle.
They will then turn right down Warwick Road, where the first sprint section of the stage will take place, just like last year.
They will carry along Warwick Road through Leek Wootton, and will join Coventry Road into Guys Cliffe, continuing along Primrose Hill and Wedgnock Lane.
The riders will enter Warwick via the Birmingham Road between 11.18 and 11.32am, and will race down Theatre Street, High Street, and over the bridge by St Nicholas Park before leaving the town via Gallows Hill and Harbury Lane.
The direction of the riders then heads south, with Moreton Morell being reached between 11.38 and 11.56am, and Wellesbourne, which has the second sprint section, between 11.46am and 12.06pm.
After the riders head further south and then east though Oxfordshire, they will reach Kineton between 12.47 and 1.21pm, before taking on two difficult climbs up Edge Hill and Burton Dassett, where extra points are on offer for the best climbers in the ‘Queen of the Mountains’ competition.
After that, they will reach Fenny Compton between 1.14 and 1.54pm, and Southam between 1.29 and 2.12pm.
From there, the group will head northwest towards the finish line, heading along Welsh Road, the B4452 and Ufton Hill and Southam Road to reach Radford Semele, before they power along Radford Road, High Street and finally turn right onto Bath Street and the Parade for the finish line between 1.49 and 2.36pm.