By Nigel Wynn
Oundle, Northamptonshire, will host the start of the inaugural Women's Tour in May 2014, the race's organiser has confirmed.
The opening stage of the race on Wednesday May 7 will take place exclusively in Northamptonshire, with stage two running from Hinckley to Bedford and incorporating Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire.
Deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council Heather Smith commented: "We are very excited that Northamptonshire has been chosen to host the first stage of The Women's Tour. This is an opportunity to showcase our beautiful county to the rest of the world as well as promote cycling and women's sport locally, and will be the start of a summer of cycling events."
The five-day 2014 Women's Tour will take place from Wednesday May 7 to Sunday May 11 and has been granted the highest possible 2.1 ranking by the Union Cycliste Internationale. Further route details will be unveiled in the New Year.