Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Women’s tour set to become biggest sporting event ever in Ampthill

Thursday, 9 March 2023

The Women’s Tour, the UK’s leading international women’s cycle race, will become the biggest sporting event ever to visit Ampthill when the free-to-attend spectacle heads there in June.

Womens Tour 2023 stage 2, showing an illustration of women on bicycles Women’s tour set to become biggest sporting event ever in Ampthill

Stage 2 of this year’s race will finish in the Central Bedfordshire town on Thursday 8 June, making it the most southern host venue in this year’s five-day event. Northampton will host the start of the stage, which will head through Daventry and across the Pitsford Reservoir en route to the finish line on Woburn Street.

Never before has Ampthill, nor Central Bedfordshire, welcomed this prestigious event. As an award-winning race that showcases its host regions and promotes community activities along the race route, the Women’s Tour continues to form part of the prestigious UCI Women’s WorldTour series of events.

Last year’s race averaged a daily roadside attendance of 60,000 spectators and delivered an economic boost of over £1 million to local economies.

More details of the stage route and the finish in Ampthill will be announced in the coming weeks.

Councillor Richard Wenham, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, said:

Welcoming the Women’s Tour and the finish of the second stage of this prestigious cycle race to Ampthill and Central Bedfordshire will be a highlight of the summer. It will be a fun-packed day out for residents to soak up the unique atmosphere of a major sporting event and will attract more visitors to our area supporting the local economy.

Please put Thursday 8 June in your diary. It’s going to be a magnificent spectacle and a wonderful day out the whole family will enjoy.

Councillor Tracey Stock, our Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing and Communities, added:

The enthusiasm generated by having this world-class women’s cycling event in Ampthill and Central Bedfordshire will support our continued efforts to get more people enjoying cycling in our area and experiencing the benefit it brings for our health and wellbeing. Seeing the action close-up as the rider’s power to the finish will be an amazing sporting occasion and something you have to see.

Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said:

We would like to thank Central Bedfordshire Council for their support of the race as we look forward to visiting Ampthill for the first time. I’d like to encourage everyone in Ampthill and Central Bedfordshire to get behind the race - make sure that Thursday 8 June is in your diary, as you won’t want to miss the world’s best riders racing through your community.

The Women’s Tour 2023 will begin in Warwickshire on Wednesday 7 June. This year’s edition will feature the most northerly stage in race history to date, a gruelling day of racing between Dalby Forest and Guisborough that will visit the North York Moors, on stage four.

The penultimate stage of the race (Saturday 10 June) takes place between Coleshill and Derby, creating a Midlands doubleheader to end the event, as this year’s champion will be crowned following a spectacular circuit race around the centre of Birmingham on Sunday 11 June.

This year’s Women’s Tour has already attracted the support of cottages.com, Brother UK, Accurist and cycleGuard. Organisers hope that today’s route announcement will generate additional commercial interest in the race, with event title, jersey, and stage specific sponsorships available for selected stages.

Launched in 2014, the award-winning event was the UK’s first international women’s stage race for women. Heralded as a game-changer in the journey towards gender equality in sport, previous winners of the Women’s Tour include Marianne Vos (2014), Lizzie Deignan (2016, 2019) and Elisa Longo Borghini (2022).

Further details of this year’s race, including competing teams, leaders’ jerseys and stage timetables, will be revealed in the coming weeks.