The starter’s flag has dropped on a challenge for Warwickshire school children to get creative for the leading female professional cycling road race in the UK cycling calendar.

For the third year running the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will be making a welcome return to the county, with Stage Three taking place between Atherstone and Royal Leamington Spa on Friday 15 June.

As Warwickshire County Council is preparing for the major event, which is broadcast in more than 100 countries, it has launched a competition to get youngsters involved.

Primary school children from across the county are being asked to take part in competitions to design the start flag for the event and the Warwickshire stage winner’s trophy. Youngsters can work in any medium to draw the image and the winners design will then be used in the cycling event.

The winner of the trophy competition will get to come along to the race and present their trophy to the winning cyclist, while the winner of the flag competition will get the chance to start the race. Both artists will also win goody bags.

Last year’s winners were Ava Grimes from St Benedict’s School in Atherstone and Abigail Briggs from Tysoe Primary School, who both had a fantastic time on the day.

Abigail Briggs, from Tysoe Primary School, was the Stage Winner Trophy Design Competition victor in 2017.

Monica Fogarty, Joint Managing Director for Warwickshire County Council, encouraged every primary school in the area to get involved.

“We are thrilled that the OVO Energy Women’s Tour is returning to Warwickshire once again for the third year running,” she said. “The event has fast become one of the highlights in the Warwickshire calendar and that is why we want to celebrate it anyway possible and the competitions are the perfect way to get children involved.

“They are a great way to encourage young people to get creative and be part of such as a massive event. Each year schools have been extremely supportive of the design competition and the race and we would urge them to get involved once again.”

Warwickshire will host the third stage of the event on Friday, June 15 giving cycling fans the chance to watch the thrilling road race – with a start and a finish in the county.

Starting in Market Square, Atherstone, it will weave its way through Warwickshire in a 151km route ending in Royal Leamington Spa – making the Warwickshire stage the longest of the 2018 event.

All competition entries must be posted to Aaron Corsi, Warwickshire County Council, Infrastructure and Regeneration, PO Box 43, Shire Hall, Warwick, CV34 4SX.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday 16 May and judging will take place on Tuesday 22 May. All participating schools will be notified of the results soon after.

For more details about the competitions, downloading template or entering, click here.