Derbyshire will welcome the Aviva Women's Tour for the first time this June, as the world's top racers head to the county for Stage Three on Friday 17 June.
Building on the success of hosting the Tour of Britain last September, the Aviva Women's Tour will race from Ashbourne to Chesterfield. It is being billed as the toughest stage of the race.
The stage will race through the heart of the Derbyshire Dales including Chatsworth, Youlgrave and Matlock, before the finish in Chesterfield. The stage also falls on the same weekend as the popular Eroica Britannia family festival in Bakewell, just a short ride from the Stage Three route.
And your District Council is planning to get behind the event with support activities and funding as we did for last year's Tour of Britain.
Cycling fans in the county will also have the chance to catch the action for a second time a day later on Stage Four, which will also pass through Derbyshire on its way from Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent. Fans in the south of the county will be entertained by a route that skirts Derby between Long Eaton and Swadlincote.
Mick Bennett, Race Director of the Aviva Women's Tour said:
"We are proud that Derbyshire County Council have decided to host the Aviva Women's Tour as a part of their ambition to be the most connected cycling county. Stage Three will take the race through the heart of the Peak District National Park, with over 2,000-metres of climbing, making it one of the toughest of this year's race and a key day for riders with the ambition of winning the Aviva Yellow Jersey."
Commenting on the route announcement, reigning World Road Race Champion Lizzie Armitstead of the Boels Dolmans team said:
"It's fantastic news that the Aviva Women's Tour will continue in 2016. As a British rider it's a privilege to be able to compete on home roads, the British public have really taken to cycling and you can see that when the race goes through different towns the community really gets behind it.
"I'm excited to see the growth in women's cycling and I think the Women's Tour has had a really positive impact on that change."
Reigning Aviva Women's Tour champion Lisa Brennauer of the Canyon SRAM team said:
"I'm looking forward to coming back to the Aviva Women's Tour 2016. The race last year was outstandingly well organised and the amount of people that came to watch and cheer for us was breath-taking. Including some new routes with more climbs and longer stages than before, the tour offers new opportunities and again huge possibilities for thrilling racing. I can't wait to see all of you again."
Further news about the detailed routes of Stages Three and Four, including the locations of Strava Queen of the Mountains climbs and the Chain Reaction Cycles Sprints, along with timings will be announced in the coming weeks along with the teams spectators can look forward to seeing in action at the Aviva Women's Tour.