Cycle Race Thrills Crowds
Published: 04 October 2021
The world’s top female cyclists raced into Banbury on Monday 4 October for a spectacular sprint finish to the opening stage of this year’s Women’s Tour.
It was a massive event for cycling fans – and for the town – as thousands of onlookers packed the streets to be part of the excitement.
The influx provided a trade bonanza for shopkeepers, pubs and restaurants with some businesses providing special ‘race-day’ deals.
Crowds lined the streets for two opportunities to see the cyclists.
After a gruelling 90-mile route around Oxfordshire the 89 racers first came down Broughton Road and West Bar into South Bar at around 2.15pm to start a loop that took them out through Bloxham and Hook Norton to Sibford Ferris before returning to Banbury via Swalcliffe, Tadmarton and Broughton to the finishing line in the shadows of Banbury Cross just after 3pm.
The stage winner was Italian rider Marta Bastianelli who got home in a close finish ahead of Australia’s Chloe Hosking and Clara Copponi
It was the first time Banbury had hosted the prestigious event that attracts competitors and fans from around the world.
Leader of Banbury Town Council Kieron Mallon said: “The race was a great opportunity for Banbury to show what it has to offer and the town rose to the occasion. Thousands of people came, enjoyed what they saw, and spent money.
“I hope the race organisers were impressed with the facilities and that the tour will come here again.”
The race was cancelled in 2020 and then postponed from June until October this year due to COVID-19.
First - Marta Bastianelli,
Second – Chloe Hosking,
Third – Clara Copponi,