THE RAIN didn’t stop the people of Warwickshire from cheering on some of the world’s best cyclists.
The second stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour covered 140km from Atherston to Stratford and people turned out in force for the event.
Spectators – including teachers and schoolchildren from across the district – lined the streets and even set up camp at Burton Dassett Hills Country Park to show their support for the riders and the tour.
Stratford had been gearing up for the tour with bicycle-themed window displays and official tour teddies on sale.
Kenilworth played host to the first sprint time trial of the tour while Warwick Market Square was filled with stalls and entertainment for people braving the rain to watch the women race by.
A climb to the highest points in Warwickshire, through Burton Dassett and Edge Hill, followed by another sprint in Tysoe tested the pro-riders.
Three-year-old Molly Koskta and two-year-old Hector Colburne from Stratford took part in a special bike competition ahead of the cyclists arriving in the town.
Organised by Strider balance bikes, 14 children aged between 20 months and 4 years raced across the finish line and earned themselves a medal which was presented to them on the winners’ podium.
Amy Pieters from Holland was first across the finish line on Bridge Street in Stratford in a photo finish with reigning tour champion Germany’s Lisa Brennauer.
Marianne Vos was presented with the Yellow Jersey at the end of the rainy 140km second stage and Lizzie Armitstead finished in 18th to remain the highest placed British competitor.
She went on to win the five stage race overall – becoming the first British rider in history to do so.