Organisers of The Women’s Tour, SweetSpot, have revealed the route details for this year’s race set to take place from October 4-9 in Great Britain.
The six-day event will feature a new individual time trial in Warwickshire and a kermesse-style race in Walsall, equating to what could be a wide-open race that comes down to seconds as a world-class field pursues the overall title.
“We are all set for what promises to be another memorable edition of the Women’s Tour!" said Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director.
"From our first-ever individual time trial in Warwickshire, an innovative stage in Walsall, potential for crosswinds en route to the finishes in Southend and Clacton, plus the bonus seconds that line the route from Oxfordshire to Suffolk, there are plenty of opportunities for the race to come alive!"
The Women’s Tour will kick off with on October 4 with a 147.6km race between Bicester and Banbury. The race will head south to Culham and the banks of the River Thames, before visiting Abingdon and Deddington on its journey north towards the finish in Banbury. The stage includes three categorised climbs in the final 60 kilometres, the last of which at Sibford will be tackled twice as part of a 29.4-kilometre finishing circuit.
The racing will continue with stage 2 on October 5 at a new kermesse-style circuit race in Walsall. The details of the stage have not been revealed, however, fans and racers can expect an explosive, fast-paced race that could end in a bunch sprint.
Stage 3, on October 6 will showcase a first-ever individual time trial at The Women’s Tour. The 16-kilometre event will be an out-and-back affair on a counter-clockwise circuit that passes through Bentley, Birchley Heath, Mancetter before finishing in Atherstone.
Stage 4, on October 7, will present a 117.5km race from Shoeburyness to Southend. According to organisers, the route was inspired by racing on the flatlands of Belgium and the Netherlands. The peloton will have to be alert to crosswinds and changes in direction as the route heads through Rochford, South Woodham Ferrers, Burnham-on-Crouch for an intermediate sprint, then Bradwell-on-Sea, Hazeleigh and Rawreth. There is also one categorised climb at Hambro Hill that is 4.9km but includes a maximum gradient of 12.8 per cent. The peloton will crest the climb with just 12.7 kilometres remaining and will likely be the instigator for a frantic run-in to the finish line along the seafront in the Westcliff-on-Sea area of Southend.
The penultimate stage 5 held on October 8 is the shortest stage of the event at 95.5km. The race will begin in Colchester where the peloton will complete one short loop before heading toward the historic city centre. The race will then pass through the finish line on Clacton seafront after just 32 kilometres before completing a 63.5-kilometre loop through Holland-on-Sea, Thorpe-le-Soken and Manningtree before returning to Clacton for an expected bunch sprint.
The Women’s Tour will conclude on October 9 with a stage 6’s 155km race from Haverhill to Felixstowe. The peloton will race past the stately Melford Hall and through Sudbury before passing along the runaway at Wattisham Flying Station. The route also includes Stowmarket, Wickham Market and Woodbridge, all of which have featured in historic Women’s Tour stages in the county, before heading south towards the finish line adjacent to the beach in Felixstowe.
- Stage 1: Bicester to Banbury, 147.6km
- Stage 2: Walsall (TBA)
- Stage 3: Atherstone individual time trial, 16km
- Stage 4: Shoeburyness to Southend, 117.5km
- Stage 5: Colchester to Clacton, 95.5km
- Stage 6: Haverhill to Felixstowe, 155km
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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