Maiden Women's Tour to feature 16 teams

With Marianne Vos and her Rabo-Liv team having already confirmed their entry for the first ever Women's Tour which starts in Oundle, Great Britain on Wednesday 7th May, the race organisers have announced a high quality field will take place in the event comprising of the top women's teams in the world.

Orica - AIS, Boels Dolmans, Specialized Lululemon and the Wiggle Honda team of British Olympians Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King are all set to take their place on the start line alongside the national side of the world's number one ranked nation, the Netherlands, plus a Great Britain national team led by Leicestershire's Lucy Garner.

Earning an invite for the first ever UCI level stage race for women to take place in the UK, organised by SweetSpot Group, will be British domestic team Matrix Fitness – Vulpine. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling's participation will mean Hannah Barnes will be given the opportunity to race in her home county of Northamptonshire on the opening day of The Women's Tour.

The Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team will also travel from the USA to race while the final two teams for the 16-team, 96-rider field will be announced in coming months.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring such a world-class field of teams to ride in the first ever Women's Tour", said Guy Elliott from organisers SweetSpot Group.

"The race has attracted a wonderful field of elite riders from all over the world, which will be one of the strongest fields ever assembled for an elite women's international race, and a route which will feature some of the most beautiful roads, villages, towns and countryside in Great Britain."

The announcement of the Women’s Tour is a further boost to women’s cycling and follows in the footsteps of Tour de France organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) who announced they would host a single-day women’s race on the last day of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées.

Noting the positive reception that ASO’s decision was met with the Vuelta a España director, Javier Guillén, is proposing the Spanish grand tour create a women’s race in 2015.

The list of teams for The Women's Tour:
Astana Bepink Women's Team (Ita)
Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Ned)
Estado de Mexico Faren (Mex)
Great Britain (GBr)
Hitec Products (Nor)
Lotto Belisol Ladies (Bel)
Matrix Fitness - Vulpine (GBr)
Netherlands (Ned)
Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Orica - AIS (Aus)
Rabo Liv Women's Cycling Team (Ned)
Specialized - Lululemon (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team (USA)
Wiggle Honda (GBr)

The Women's Tour will take place over five stages between Wednesday 7th and Sunday 11th May, beginning in Northamptonshire with an opening stage from Oundle to Northampton.

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