Thousands gathered in the market towns of southern Oxfordshire to catch a glimpse of the elite cyclists as the Women’s Tour 2022 raced through the county.

The final 142.9km-stage of the six-stage race, started in Chipping Norton at 11am on Saturday and finished in St Giles in Oxford.

Spectators gathered along the route to watch Britain’s biggest and longest running women’s cycle stage race as they rushed through the south of the county past Wantage, Didcot, Wallingford, and Abingdon.

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Stuart Dingle managing director of Pedal Power Cycles shop on Vineyard in Abingdon, was excited to see the race in the town.

Mr Dingle said: “We waited over the road patiently and it was over in about 30 seconds. It was exhilarating but short.

“There were people waiting on every corner, especially at Radley Road.

“It was nice to see it coming through Abingdon, I think people were worried about the state of the road and hoping the cyclists weren’t going to hit any of the terrible potholes.”

He added: “We were pretty busy at the shop that day as well.”

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Many cycle groups from across Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties cycled to various locations to follow the tour.

Martin Stanley, training ride coordinator at Didcot Phoenix cycling club, was at the finish line in Oxford to enjoy the occasion. He said: “I cycled out to Burford and watched the ‘Queen of the Mountain’, which was great, and now we are just enjoying the atmosphere.”

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Although Lorena Wiebes of Team DSM claimed victory on the sixth and final stage in St Giles' with a time of three hours 38 minutes 15 seconds, Elisa Longo Borghini overhauled Grace Brown and won the race by a second.

She won the entire tour with an overall time of 19 hours 19 minutes 07seconds.

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Borghini said: “We decided to go for the intermediate sprint, and I was fourth, so I was like, ‘Okay, that’s the second place and that’s it."

“But then all my team-mates kept my morale up, and said we try at the finish, and we’ll do the lead-out for you.

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“I was really doubting, but when you see such a team that is motivated and they are really believing in you, just want to give them back everything.”

 In the final stage in Oxfordshire the cyclists faced even more steep inclines following Carmarthenshire and tackled Butcher’s Hill in Chipping Norton.

The Queen of the Mountain, an award given to the best climbing specialist in a road race, was won by Elise Chabbey of Switzerland.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Rebecca Whittaker, she joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Rebecca covers education and news in Abingdon and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: or calling 07824524333

Follow her on Twitter @RebecWhitt

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