Women's Tour of Britain Cycle Race To Pass Through Abthorpe and Wappenham
Author: John Riches
From: About My Area
Published: 5th June 2018
The Women's Tour at Gayton in 2014.
It’s rare that a major sporting event comes to Wappenham, but on Thursday, 14th June 2018 stage 2 (or day 2) of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour cycle race passes through our village as the riders travel the 145 km route between Rushden and Daventry.
The Women’s Tour is one of the biggest events on the women’s cycling calendar and attracts the world’s best female cyclists. This year, 17 teams of 6 riders will compete over 5 days as the race crosses the UK from Suffolk to North Wales. The race will approach Wappenham from Abthorpe, come up the drag of High Street, and turn right to go on through Weedon Lois and Weston. The race promoters predict an arrival time between 12:21 and 12:47. It is quite a spectacle watching the police shut down the road and the blur of colour as 100 cyclists flash past followed by all the support vehicles.
On the day, it would be great if Wappenham could give the race a warm welcome, line the High Street, and give a loud cheer as the race passes. Typically, what happens? Approximately 10 minutes before the race arrives, police motorcyclists will shut the road. No-one apart from race officials and emergency vehicles will be allowed to travel along the closed road. Although I say it’s a closed road, there will be police, marshals, photographers, and other officials on motorbikes and race organisers, more officials, and race guests travelling in Skoda cars, who are one of the race’s sponsors. Images of 2017 race passing through Rothwell © Steve Marchant/essentially-england.com The helicopters flying above the race announce the approach of the lead riders.
As Wappenham is approximately halfway through the day’s route, the race could be split into a number of groups, so the road could be closed for 10 or more minutes after the leading riders pass. Team cars with their spare bikes and wheels on the roofs, medical cars, and other support vehicles follow the race. The last vehicle of the race convoy is the “Broom Wagon” which is there to sweep up any riders that are not going to finish the race. See if you can spot the broom!
After the broom wagon has passed, the road should be opened. However, please follow police and race official instructions. Safety is paramount. Please remove parked cars from the race route and let the race convoy have a smooth passage through our village. Please keep pets indoors, or if you have to have a dog with you then keep it on a tight lead. If you’re watching the event pass, then please stand back and give the race the width of the road.
I hope you enjoy watching the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, and don’t forget to watch the race highlights on ITV4 at 8pm to see if Wappenham is included and if you can spot yourself. Steve Marchant, former racing cyclist and now avid armchair fan.
For more information please go to www.womenstour.co.uk