Derbyshire Dales communities will be cheering on the star-studded Aviva Women's Tour when it hits the area this Friday, 17 June.
Big names such as World Road Race Champion Lizzie Armitstead and multiple World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos – both named in the 96-rider provisional line-up – are likely to be battling it out in the Ashbourne to Chesterfield stage of the Tour.
And several local community groups have taken advantage of £100 grants provided by your District Council to add colour and excitement to what is being billed as the Tour’s toughest stage, including 'Queen of the Mountains' sections below Winster and on Matlock's Bank Road.
Local schools, clubs and groups have been invited to cheer on the riders as they whizz through the Dales during the late morning and early afternoon of Friday.
Stage Three officially starts at 10.45am in Ashbourne Market Place, where one of the grant recipients, Ashbourne Fairtrade Town Initiative, will be mingling with the crowds giving out free bananas, stickers and information encouraging local people to choose healthy snacks when cycling.
Other groups and organisations giving their own time to add to the atmosphere at the start include Ashbourne Cycling Club, Sustrans White Peak Ranger Group, together with the town’s Golf Club, Triathlon Club, Swimming Club, the Peak District National Park Authority’s Cycle Hire Centres and staff from the District Council’s Ashbourne Leisure Centre.
The race proper starts after the riders have climbed out of the town centre on the A515 heading out towards Fenny Bentley, passing the turn-offs for Tissington and Alsop en le Dale before taking a left towards Heathcote, Crowdecote and Earl Sterndale on their way to Buxton town centre (11.40am) for the first sprint section of the day along Terrace Road.
Then the peloton heads back south via the A5270, skirting the communities of King Sterndale, Chelmorton (12 noon), and Flagg before hitting the village of Monyash (12.10), then taking the Long Rake road towards Youlgrave (12.25) and down through Alport before taking a sharp right onto the B5056 for the first Queen of the Mountains section up a steep climb that passes by local landmark Robin Hood's Stride.
Then it's left into Winster (12.35) village along the B5057, onto Wensley and downhill through Cross Green into Darley Bridge, over the bridge and up Station Road to the A6 T-junction by the Whitworth Hotel (12.45). The A6 from Darley Dale towards Matlock is the second sprint section of the day, and then it's into Matlock town centre (12.50) along Bakewell Road ahead of the second Queen of the Mountains challenge - Matlock's tortuous Bank Road.
The peloton then heads out on the A632 Chesterfield road and past Matlock Golf Club, taking a left turn at the top of Slack Hill into Wirestone Lane (13.00) and Screetham Lane towards Beeley Moor. Then it's down the fast descent from the top of the moor, winding down into Beeley village (13.15), right onto the B6102 towards Chatsworth and Edensor before leaving the Derbyshire Dales at Baslow (13.25) as the riders head for the finish in Chesterfield Market Place (13.55).
- Organisers stress that all times are approximate and may vary by as much as 40 minutes – and once the race is underway, police will organise rolling roadblocks on the route with the aim of keeping traffic disruption to a minimum.
Other local groups to benefit from £100 District Council grants are South Darley Pre-school Playgroup, which is organising a tricycle and scooter ride on race day, Matlock’s Castle View Primary School, which is organising a balance training session on 21 June, and the ‘East Beast Cycle Hill Climb’ – a new time trial up Winster’s East Bank devised to celebrate the Aviva Tour event.
To facilitate the start of Stage 3 in Ashbourne, the following roads will be closed from midnight on 16 June until 1pm on race day 17 June:
- Church Street (part) east of the Station Road junction to Dig Street;
- St John Street (part) from Dig Street junction to the junction with A515 Market Place;
- Dig Street (closed for its full length);
- Compton Street (part) short section at its north end from just north of junction with King Edward Street, over Henmore Brook, to Dig Street;
- A515 Market Place (part, with northbound only closed from St John’s Street to just south of Union Street).
Diversions will be by Station Road, Station Street, Sturston Road, Park Road, Cockayne Avenue, The Green Road, King Street, Buxton Road, and vice versa using St John’s Street, Park Road, Sturston Road, Station Street and Station Road.
- View maps and more information on our Women's Tour page
- Highlights of the Aviva Women's Tour will be shown each evening on ITV4 with a repeat the following morning on the same channel. The highlights will also be available on demand for 30-days via the ITV Hub catch-up service.
- The Aviva Women's Tour begins in Southwold, Suffolk on Wednesday 15 June, finishing five stages later in Kettering on Sunday 19 June.