Walsall ready to host stage of national cycle race

Some of the country's best female road cyclists will be testing themselves on the streets of a Black Country town.

Alice Towers shows Mayor of Walsall Councillor Rose Burley the bike she will be taking to the roads around the town on
Alice Towers shows Mayor of Walsall Councillor Rose Burley the bike she will be taking to the roads around the town on

Walsall will be hosting the AJ Bell Women’s Tour, the UK’s biggest women’s pro-cycling race and a round of the UCI Women’s World Tour.

The stage, on Tuesday, October 5, will be spectator-friendly, with the start at Walsall Arboretum and the finish on Lichfield Street in Walsall town centre.

In between, riders will take 10 laps of a 9.8-kilometre circuit around Barr Beacon, giving spectators heading onto the route the chance to see the riders on multiple occasions.

Alice Towers, of the British based Drops – Le Col s/b TEMPUR team, headed to Walsall to check out the route and to meet Mayor of Walsall Cllr Rose Burley, who is supporting the Tour’s visit to the town.

Alice turns 19 just three days after the 2021 race and, as a former member of the Lichfield City Cycling Club, said the Walsall stage is set to be on almost home roads.

She said: "I’m really excited as I’ve never done as big a race as this before in the UK so the crowds will be really good.

"I’m really proud to ride for the team and grateful to get out and do some amazing races.

"It’s nice to have a couple of local stages as well, so I can see the course beforehand, and then see friends and family on the road too.

"My parents haven’t watched me race all year as I’ve been racing abroad and it’s been difficult to get out and see races so it’s going to be nice to have my Mum and Dad at the start line and them to see me race."

Leader of Walsall Council, Councillor Mike Bird said: "Hosting an event of this importance in the professional sporting calendar is a great opportunity for Walsall.

"The community is coming together to ensure visitors to the race get a warm welcome and we wish the teams the best of luck on what looks to be an exciting day."

To accompany the race action, community groups are joining cycling enthusiasts, students and local makers to create a festival of sport and culture, a day of entertainment and activities for all the family at a number of locations in and around Walsall Town Centre.

There will be a Fan Zone in the Arboretum, Walsall makers will be displaying their wares in the Market and entertainment will be provided in Gallery Square.

Details of the activities and the race can be found on the Council web site at go.walsall.gov.uk/raceday

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