The Women's Tour will visit London for the first time in its history with race organisers unveiling the five-stage route of the 2017 Women's WorldTour race. There will be 17 teams on the start line in Northamptonshire on June 7, including defending champion Lizzie Deignan's Boels Dolmans squad.
For the fourth year running, the race will finish in a new location following Bury St Edmunds, Hemel Hempstead, and Kettering as hosts of the last stage. London has been the regular host of the final of the men's Tour of Britain race for several years, but it is the first time that the women's event has been to the capital.
"Having the Mayor of London invite us to London for the final stage of The Women's Tour shows the status of the event, that just three years on from its creation it can be a part of the UCI Women's WorldTour and feature all of the world's top 15 teams," race director Mick Bennett said. "This year's route will combine testing climbs and beautiful scenery in the heart of England with the London finish, which will be an undoubted highlight of the sporting calendar."
Stage 1 of the race takes the peloton from Daventry to Kettering while stage 2 will see the peloton ride from Stoke-on-Trent to Staffordshire. Atherstone has been chosen as the host for the start of stage 3 that will finish in Royal Leamington Spa.
The penultimate stage is one for the climbers, rolling out of Chesterfield and finishing in Derbyshire. The race then concludes on the 6km London circuit used in the men's Tour of Britain that starts and finishes at Regent Street St James. The final stage is one suited to the sprinters while the spectator friendly parcours is expected to see the fans pack the city circuit which will be covered 14 times by the peloton.
London's mayor Sadiq Khan explained he was keen to secure a stage of the race in the capital city to inspire Londoners and remind them of the Olympic buzz of 2012.
"I'm really excited that the most prestigious women's cycling race in the world is coming to the streets of central London for the first time," said Khan. "Londoners will be able to see their Olympic heroes and the world's top riders competing up close, reviving the excitement we all felt during the Olympics. The race shows our continuing commitment to London hosting the very best sporting events in world."
The top 15 Women's WorldTour teams have secured their place in the race with organisers extending invitations to the British-based Drops and Team WNT squads. With Marianne Vos and Lisa Brennauer claiming the first two editions of the race, Deignan will be aiming to become the first rider to defend her yellow jersey with the number one ranked Boels Dolmans team.
For 2017, the race has entered into a new charity partnership with Breast Cancer Care but remains the hunt to find a title partner to replace Aviva, which it hopes to announce before June. Final stage lengths and locations for the queen of the mountain points will be announced in the coming weeks.
2017 Aviva Women's Tour
Stage 1: Wednesday 7 June – Daventry to Kettering
Stage 2: Thursday 8 June – Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire
Stage 3: Friday 9 June – Atherstone to Royal Leamington Spa
Stage 4: Saturday 10 June – Chesterfield and Derbyshire
Stage 5: Sunday 11 June – The London Stage