ACS International School

Cyclist Hannah Barnes Rides into Oundle

Published Thursday 1st of May 2014 10:16:19 AM

Grand plans are underway for the inaugural women�s Tour of Britain, which will stage its Grand Depart in Oundle�s Market Place on 7 May.

Ahead of the race, cyclist Hannah Barnes came to Oundle to speak to pupils about her training and career. Hannah is a member of the UnitedHealthcare women�s team based in North Carolina, which will be competing alongside thirteen other teams featuring the top women cyclists in the world, including reigning World and Olympic Road Race Champion Marianne Vos.

Hannah said this event is the biggest race of the year. Given the world-class quality of the riders, �It�s pretty much the Olympics.�

Stage One of the race is entirely within Barnes' home county of Northamptonshire, and coincides with her 21st birthday, which she will be able to celebrate at home. Hannah trains in the US, and travels the world competing. She dominated the British scene in 2013 and hit the world stage in January, winning the opening stage of the women's Tour de San Luis in Argentina.

In the coming year Hannah will be travelling to Italy and France and hopes to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships. After her talk to schools in Oundle, she resumed her training, cycling home to Towcester, 50 miles away.

The Women's Tour is ranked at the 2.1 level by the UCI, the sport's governing body, putting it alongside the Ladies Tour of Qatar, Giro Rosa and La Route de France, as one of the world's top ranked multi-day races for women. The town of Oundle expects 5000 visitors to support and watch the race, along with the world�s media. Helicopter cameras will cover the entire route, and highlights will be broadcast nightly on ITV4. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE will be the official starter of the race at the Grand Depart at 11.00am.
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