Marianne Vos will return to Great Britain for the first time since winning her Olympic gold in 2012, when she ride the inaugural Women’s Tour, in May.
Vos beat home favourite Lizzie Armitstead on a rainy Mall in London, to take her first Olympic title on the road. The pair are expected to face-off once again when the race begins on May 7.
"It's great that we get a big new stage race on our calendar with The Women's Tour,” the reigning world champion said on the race’s website. “The times that I've raced in Great Britain - with of course the London Olympic Games fresh in my mind - I have been amazed by the huge crowds and the enthusiastic people. I'm sure it will be a fantastic event and I'm looking forward to competing here with the best riders from all over the World."
With the penultimate week of the World Cup series going on at the Tour of Chongming Island there is a risk that some riders will opt to head out in China. Having Vos on the start line will be a big boost for the race, which is hoping to match the recent successes of the men’s Tour of Britain.
Armitstead’s Boels-Dolmans team is also likely to make an appearance, which could include current time trial world champion Ellen van Dijk. Wiggle Honda, the home of two-time world champion Georgia Bronzini, also has a strong British contingent, including track star Laura Trott, could also be there on the start line.
The Women’s Tour is the first UCI ranked stage race for woman in Britain. Organisers SweetSpot announced last year that it would give the women’s race the same treatment as the men’s, including television time and prize money. The race managed to secure the ranking 2.1, the highest outside of the world cup, meaning it can invite a world class field.
The race begins on May 7 in Oundle, Northamptonshire and finishing in Bury St Edmunds the following Sunday.