CYCLOPARK TO HOST FIRST KENT STAGE OF THE OVO ENERGY WOMEN’S TOUR
Cyclopark will make OVO Energy Women’s Tour history this June as it hosts the race’s first-ever Kent stage.Outlining the race’s support for existing cycle infrastructure in Great Britain, the world’s best riders will tackle a 62.5-kilometre (25-lap) kermesse at the Gravesend circuit on Tuesday 11 June – day two of the 2019 race.
This stage will see Kent play host to its biggest international sporting event since the 2007 Tour de France Grand Depart, which was delivered in part by SweetSpot Group, organiser of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
Commenting on the race’s first visit to the Garden of England, OVO Energy Women’s Tour race director Mick Bennett said: “Although this is the first stage in race history to take place in Kent, we’re certainly hoping that it won’t be the last. The prospect of a kermesse at Cyclopark may look less challenging than what else features in this year’s route, but the thousands of amateurs who race there year in, year out will tell you that the circuit is harder than it looks. It’s going to be a spectator-friendly, fast and furious race for the line!
“This is also the easiest stage for our European fans to join us at, so it would be great to think that many of them will make the trip across the channel and watch the world’s best in action as the battle for the OVO Energy green jersey heats up.”
Opened in 2012, in part thanks to British Cycling and Sport England funding, the Cyclopark notably hosted the HSBC UK | Cyclo-Cross National Championships earlier this year. A multi-sport activity venue, a closed-road tarmac circuit, six kilometres of off-road trails, a 340-metre BMX track and fitness centre feature among its 43 hectares.
British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, added:“We are delighted that the second stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will take place at Cyclopark in Kent.
“Having delivered a fantastic HSBC UK | National Cyclo-cross Championships earlier this year, it is clear just how much of a vital asset Cyclopark is both to the health of the sport in Britain and the thousands of locals in Kent who benefit from the facility all year round.”
The 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour begins with a Grand Depart in Suffolk for the second year; 96 starters will cover 157.6 kilometres (98 miles) between the market towns of Beccles and Stowmarket. Oxfordshire then welcomes the race for the first time two days later with a stage that starts in Henley-on-Thames and finishes at the historic Blenheim Palace. Burton Dassett Country Park in Warwickshire will host the race’s first hill-top finish on Thursday 13 June.
The race continues to form part of the prestigious UCI Women’s WorldTour series, which began with the Strade Bianche one-day race in Italy on 9 March.
Further details of this year’s OVO Energy Women’s Tour, including the full race route and competing teams, will be released in the coming weeks.