IT was hardly perfect conditions as many of the world’s best women cyclists set out from Warwick on stage four of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour this morning.
The race is making its fourth visit to Warwickshire in as many years with Burton Dassett Country Park hosting the first hill-top finish in race history.
The riders got off to a damp start and more showers were forecast for this afternoon.
The 159-kilometre stage four started in Warwick, before the riders headed to Kenilworth, Meriden, Bedworth and Wellesbourne before riders gear up for finale at Burton Dassett, which has featured as part of previous stages in Warwickshire.
Warwickshire County Council chief executive Monica Fogarty, said: “I am thrilled that Warwickshire will once again be hosting a stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. As well as being fantastic entertainment for spectators, this event is of huge economic benefit to the region.
“It’s an opportunity for local businesses along the route to celebrate and embrace cycling as the race comes past their front door, as well as for others to maximise on business opportunities from increased customers and visitors.
More than 100,000 spectators lined the highways and byways of Warwickshire for last year’s stage of the race.
OSCAR Morley had the honour of starting the riders off from Warwick.
The Whitnash youngster won Warwickshire County Council’s competition to design the starter’s flag for the fourth stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
And the St Margaret’s Junior School pupil’s prize was the chance to start the race along with Warwick mayor Neale Murphy.
Oscar’s winning design, which featured the stage 4 route from Warwick to Burton Dassett Country Park, was also transposed onto the official flag used on race day, and he received a replica as a memento.
Council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “It’s fantastic to see youngsters taking pride and getting involved in one of the biggest days on Warwickshire’s sporting calendar.
“We sincerely hope it will get them interested in cycling and that they pursue a healthy pastime throughout their lives, helping to reduce the numbers of cars on our roads”