Aviva women’s cycling tour to visit Stoke-on-Trent

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Stage four of the 2016 Aviva women’s cycling tour will finish in Stoke-on-Trent this summer.

The tour, in its third year, will enter Staffordshire on June 18.

The fourth stage begins in Nottingham and will pass through Swadlincote in Derbyshire.

After exiting the National Forest, riders will enter the county when they take on the hills of the Staffordshire Moorlands.

They will be greeted by a climb of more than 1,000 metres, before finishing in Hanley city centre.

The announcement has brought positive reactions from the Staffordshire cycling community.

Paul Rowlands, Staffordshire Cycling Festival founder and organiser, said: “I think any major cycling event coming to Staffordshire has got to be a good thing.

“Stoke-on-Trent has got a long history of hosting both the tour of Britain and the Aviva Women’s Tour and it’s great to see that race back again.”

Mr Rowlands emphasised the positive impact it can have on cycling participation.

“One of the ways I got involved in the sport was by being exposed to things like the Milk Race which had stage finishes in Stoke-on-Trent.

“So I can say from personal experience that witnessing events like that does inspire people to get on bikes, whether that’s in a competitive environment or just to ride for fun and to stay healthy.”

Stafford Road Club chairman Alastair Semple said: “The publicity surrounding the event and the fact that it takes place on a Saturday will encourage and enthuse lots of local clubs and event organisers as well as cycling clubs to organise activities and get riders out to see the race.”

Mr Semple added that the event will benefit the whole area, not just cycling fans.

The economic benefits to the region are considerable both directly from the hundreds of people involved in the race who will be staying in local hotels.

“Then through the secondary spend of the hundreds of thousands of people who will come to the region on the day and spend money in the local shops, garages and restaurants.”

The five day tour will be a part of the new UCI Women’s World Tour calendar, currently one of just four multi-day stage races on the season long programme of races for the world’s top riders and teams.

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