THOUSANDS of cycling fans are set to line roads in Oxfordshire this summer after the county was announced a host for a major cycle racing tour.

A stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour professional cycling race will pedal through South Oxfordshire and end at Blenheim Palace on June 12.

Oxford Mail:

Although the exact route is yet to be revealed, restaurants, bars, hotels and shops can all expect a boost for business, with organisers expecting tens of thousands of cycling fans to visit to watch the race.

In a comparable stage in last year’s race in Warwickshire, £2 million was injected into the local economy by around 100,000 spectators.

Oxford Mail:

The race also inspired more people to get on their bike, with 67 per cent of spectators saying they were inspired to cycle more often.

Commenting on the announcement, OVO Energy Women’s Tour Race Director Mick Bennett, said: “Oxfordshire is a historic and world-famous county; therefore, I am looking forward to the tour visiting there over the coming years.

Oxford Mail:

"To have our 2019 stage – the first ever to take place in Oxfordshire – finish in the grounds of the stunning Blenheim Palace will provide the most incredible backdrop; and leave our world-class field with a truly unforgettable memory and reinforce the prestige of the event.”

Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth, announcing the news at Blenheim Palace today, said: "We’re delighted to welcome the Women’s Tour to Oxfordshire because it will bring an enormous economic boost to our thriving communities."

Oxford Mail:

He went on: "Oxfordshire is the perfect backdrop for this race and we look forward to showing off the county at its best.”

The OVO Energy Women’s Tour is Britain’s longest-running professional women’s race and part of the prestigious UCI Women’s World Tour series.