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Women's Tour adds Black Mountain summit finish to route in 2022

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/ - 09/10/2021 - Cycling - AJ Bell Women's Tour of Britain - Stage Six: Haverhill to Felixstowe, England - Elisa Balsamo of Team Valcar Travel & Service celebrating her win on stage six
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Organisers SweetSpot have revealed route details of two of the six stages at the 2022 Women's Tour held from June 6-11. This year's six-day event will feature what organisers have called 'the toughest summit finish' in the history of the event on stage 5 atop Black Mountain.

"While it has only been a few months since Demi Vollering was crowned our worthy 2021 champion, work has continued at pace behind the scenes to deliver a spectacular edition in June," said Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director.

"The details of the stages released today hopefully give a glimpse into what’s to come. From the Grand Départ in Colchester and Suffolk, places we know fans turn out en masse to welcome the world’s best riders, to our toughest-ever stage finish in the picturesque county of Carmarthenshire, this year’s Women’s Tour will be action-packed throughout. I thank our host venues and stakeholders for their continued support of women’s sport.”

The Women's Tour will open on June 6 with a stage 1 race from the Gateway Sports Park in Colchester and will head into Suffolk before finishing on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds.

On stage 5, the peloton will depart from Pembrey Country Park and finish at the top of Black Mountain near Llangadog. Black Mountain is 7.2 kilometres with an average gradient of 5.3 per cent and ramps up to 21 per cent in places. 

The climb was first introduced as part of the stage 6 route in the 2019 edition. It featured then as a mid-race climb where Hannah Barnes (now Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) climbed it the fastest in a time of 20:50.

It will mark the second hill-top finish in Women’s Tour's history after Burton Dassett Country Park featured at the end of stage 4 in the 2019 edition.

Details of the remaining four stages of the 2022 Women’s Tour, including one in Oxfordshire that forms part of the event’s three-year agreement with Oxfordshire County Council, will follow soon.

The event has been regarded as one of the most progressive races on the Women’s WorldTour because organisers, SweetSpot, brought parity to the event’s prize fund with the men's Tour of Britain, which was set at €97,880 across six days of racing in 2019. 

They announced a five-year plan to offer live coverage of the women’s race last year, which is required to be part of the top-tier series, however, due to challenges surrounding the pandemic they were forced to reduce the prize fund and did not offer live streaming. 

Organisers said they aimed to return to prize money parity and live streaming, but have now stated that they are still working on securing the funding required to broadcast the event live. Highlights of this year’s race will once again be shown on ITV4 in the UK, and around the world via Eurosport and GCN.

In addition to a broadcast partner package, the Women’s Tour is also seeking a new title partners and sponsorship of the prestigious points and sprints jerseys.

“The past two years have been extremely challenging and, like all event organisers, we have been presented with a number of obstacles to overcome. We remain in the market for a title partner for the Women’s Tour, as well as the men’s Tour of Britain. These are exciting opportunities for companies to support women’s cycling, and we are sure that there is a brand out there who would like to be associated with the continued success of the Women’s Tour. Since the race was launched in 2014 the development and upward trajectory of women’s cycling has been incredible, so there is definitely untapped potential and fantastic opportunities for brands," said Hugh Roberts, Women’s Tour chief executive.

“We are still working hard to secure the budget to enable us to expand the coverage of the Women’s Tour to include a live broadcast this summer, which we are determined to make happen.”

Organisers expect 14 Women's WorldTeams along with the top three Continental teams in the UCI World Ranking, all receive automatic invitations. The final line up of teams for the race to be announced in the coming weeks.

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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 cycling from the community and 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 men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.