The opening stage of the 2017 OVO Energy Women’s Tour will see the race return to familiar territory as the peloton reacquaint themselves with the Northamptonshire countryside.

The OVO Energy Women’s Tour is returning to Northamptonshire for the fourth year on the trot, to host the opening stage of this year’s race.

Daventry, a historic market town, will host the start for the first time, and Kettering will welcome the finish, for its third consecutive year.

Previous winners in Kettering include Christine Majerus and Lotta Lepisto, but who will add their name to that list in 2017 and be the first to wear the race leader’s Green Jersey?

Daventry

The historic market town of Daventry will play host to this year’s Grand Depart. From its Roman roots on Borough Hill to its early makings as a medieval market town, it is a place steeped in a vibrant history.

Granted its market charter in the 13th century, the town would later become established as an important stop on the coaching routes from London to Coventry and Oxfordshire to Leicestershire.

Daventry became famous for its whip-making industry during this period, and its status also gave rise to the establishment of a number of coaching houses and inns in the town – a fact referenced by Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I, which refers to the ‘red-nosed innkeeper of Daventry’.

After the Second World War, Daventry’s central location saw it become an attractive location for major businesses such as British Timken, Ford Motor Company and Cummins. Designated as an ‘overspill’ town for the city of Birmingham, Daventry’s population boomed. The town’s excellent road and rail links means it continues to have a strong business base to this day.

Kettering

Kettering is proud to be hosting the finish of Stage 1 of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.  Kettering provided a fantastic race finish for Stage 5 in 2016 and promises and even bigger party atmosphere this year.

Kettering provides the perfect backdrop for the finish. It is a fantastic mix of old and new, with historic buildings sitting alongside recently regenerated areas of the town such as the award winning Market Place and Sheep Street which forms the finish of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.

Located in the north of Northamptonshire, Kettering is an area steeped in history, characterised by the beautiful countryside, market towns and villages. Boughton House, Queen Eleanor cross and the 1597 Triangular Lodge are all local landmarks within the borough.

If you have some spare time on the day of the race, why not visit Wicksteed Park the country’s first theme park and one of the UK’s top 20 visitor attractions. If you fancy something a bit more relaxed, go and soak up the atmosphere of the day by taking a stroll through the town centre. Kettering has a diverse range of restaurants, shops and hotels for you to enjoy.  Close to that race finish there is the Manor House Museum and Alfred East Art Gallery which are well worth a visit. The Manor House Gardens also offer the perfect spot for a picnic.