Spectators line the streets for the OVO Energy Women's Tour despite the wet weather
The rain failed to deter cycling fans from turning out to the Warwickshire stage of this year’s OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
Spectators braved the elements to line the streets and see the world’s top female cyclists battle it out in Stage 4 of the road race.
A total of 15 teams and 96 competitors were given a supportive send-off in Warwick before making their way around the county to finish with a spectacular hill climb to the rooftop of Warwickshire at Burton Dassett Country Park.
The race was officially started by the Mayor of Warwick, Cllr Neale Murphy, and the winner of the start flag design competition, Oscar Morley from St Margaret's CofE Junior School in Whitnash.
She was also presented with a special gin by Peter Monks from Shakespeare Distillery, entitled ‘Warwickshire Winner’, which was a special one-off bottle for the cyclist who crossed the finish line first.
Cllr Seccombe said: “Despite the wet weather, it was another spectacular event for Warwickshire and I want to thank everyone who braved the rain to support the incredible competitors.
“2019 marks the fourth year that the county has hosted the Women’s Tour and shows not only that our relationship with the organisers goes from strength to strength, but also that Warwickshire continues to be a perfect destination for cyclists.
“It is wonderful that so many of our towns and villages are involved in the event and that Warwickshire as a whole is given a global stage to showcase itself on.
“Now, we look to September and make sure that we are prepared to welcome the riders in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and continue to put Warwickshire on the map for its excellent cycling routes.”
The 159km route started in Warwick’s Market Place outside Shire Hall and raced through towns and villages such as Leek Wootton, Kenilworth, Gibbet Hill, University of Warwick, Fillongley, Corley Ash, Bedworth Heath, Bedworth, Bulkington, Shilton, Brinklow, Brentford, Church Lawford, Long Lawford, Cawston, Bilton, Dunchurch, Wellesbourne, Pillerton Priors, Edgehill and Warmington.
It then included a 12.5km loop of Burton Dassett which saw the cyclists go through the finish line three times.