One of the UK's most prestigious cycling road races will break new ground with the most northerly stage in its history.

The Women’s Tour, the UK’s leading international women’s cycling event, comes to the region in June when the third day of this year's event will see the world's top cyclists racing from Dalby Forest to Guisborough.

Organisers say that this stage, to take place on Friday 9 June, will be the most challenging of the 2023 competition.

The Women's Tour is Britain's most prestigious event in women's cycling, due to its status as a UCI Women's WorldTour event - the pinnacle of women's cycling.

Dalby Forest, a Forestry England site is home to 8,500 acers of walking, running and cycle trails - proving to be a perfect location for the race event. It was also the location for the finish of the fifth stage of the 2008 men's Tour of Britain, which saw competitors ride the 103 miles from Hull to the forest.

Meanwhile Guisborough has also hosted cycling in the past, having previously welcomed rounds of the Tour Series circuit race event in 2021 and 2022.

Ed Woollard, Head of Recreation and Public Affairs at Forestry England Yorkshire, said: “Dalby Forest is a well-renowned destination for cycling, so we’re thrilled to be hosting this stage of the Women’s Tour – and being the furthest north they have travelled with this race!

Darlington and Stockton Times: Lorena Wiebes winning stage two of the 2022 UCI Women's Tour.Lorena Wiebes winning stage two of the 2022 UCI Women's Tour. (Image: SwPix)

“We’re so lucky to have such a stunning, varied landscape here in Dalby and over the North York Moors which we’re excited to showcase. There has never been a more prominent time to champion women in sport so we’re delighted to be supporting and bringing this to our visitors.”

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Councillor Louise Westbury, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Culture, said: “I am thrilled to welcome the Women’s Tour to Redcar and Cleveland on Friday, June 9, when elite women cyclists will weave their way across the North York Moors from Dalby Forest to Guisborough.

“The race will provide the opportunity to attract visitors to the town and showcase what the area has to offer while hopefully providing the inspiration to women and girls to become more active and get into sport.

“I would urge people from across the area to come along to Guisborough on what is sure to be a fantastic day of elite racing and wider sporting and cultural activity.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: The most arduous stage of this year's UCI Women's Tour will take place between Dalby Forest and Guisborough in June.The most arduous stage of this year's UCI Women's Tour will take place between Dalby Forest and Guisborough in June. (Image: The Women's Tour)

The route that competitors will take from Dalby Forest to Guisborough is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Last year's race saw an average daily roadside attendance of 60,000 spectators, with an estimated economic boost of £1m to local economies. It's hoped that the free-to-watch spectacle will provide a similar boost for locations along the tour's stages at this year's event.

Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said: “We are very excited to be bringing the Women’s Tour to North Yorkshire for the first time in what is sure to be a very popular, and action-filled, day of racing.

“It is great to be working with Forestry England, the North York Moors National Park and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council once again. We know that they are huge supporters of our events and I thank them all for their efforts.”

This year's Women's Tour will begin in Warwickshire on Wednesday 7 June and continue swith a stage between Northampton and Ampthill the following day. After racing from Dalby Forest to Guisborough the cyclists will race between Coleshill and Derby, before the final stage takes place on a circuit race around the centre of Birmingham on Sunday 11 June.

The Women's Tour was launched in 2014 and was the UK's first international women's stage race. Frequently heralded as a game-changer in the sport for increasing opportunities for professional female cyclists to race away from the velodrome, previous winners of the Women’s Tour include Marianne Vos (2014), Lizzie Deignan (2016, 2019) and Elisa Longo Borghini (2022).

Further details of this year’s race, including competing teams, leaders’ jerseys and stage routes, will be revealed in the coming weeks.