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Women's Tour confirm host cities for 2022 stage race

The Women's Tour leader's jerseys 2021
The Women's Tour 2021 (Image credit: SWPix)

Wrexham and Welshpool will host stage 4 of the Women’s Tour this year, race organisers announced, as the Women’s Tour visits both venues for the first time. stage 5, meanwhile, will traverse the hills of Carmarthenshire.

Stage 4 will begin from Wrexham, as the city seeks to be crowned UK City of Culture 2025. From there, the 143-kilometre route will pass through Ruabon, travel along the Chirk Aqueduct and wind its way to the city centre of Welshpool.

This year’s edition of the Women’s Tour will begin in Colchester on June 6, and finish in Oxford city centre six days later. Last year, Demi Vollering (SD Worx) won the overall classification after taking the leader’s jersey on stage 3’s individual time trial.

“Wrexham is delighted to have been chosen to host part of this prestigious cycling tour,” Chief Executive of Wrexham County Borough Council Ian Bancroft said. 

“As finalists in the UK City of Culture 2025 competition there is a real buzz in the county, so I’m sure we’ll be out in big numbers to support this fantastic spectacle.”

On the following day, the race will travel to Carmarthenshire which has featured regularly on the routes of the men’s Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour since 2018. The region’s terrain makes for challenging bike racing, and stage 5 will contain the most elevation gain of any stage in this year’s race -- 2,065m. 

The stage will finish atop Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the second hill-top finish in Women’s Tour history, after it was tackled on the final day of the 2019 race. Black Mountain is 7.2km in length with an average gradient of 5.3 per cent, although it reaches 21 per cent gradient in some places.

“The Welsh stages in this year’s Women’s Tour are going to play a key role in determining our next champion,” Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said. 

“Both will offer a true test for the world’s best riders, with the thrilling racing set to be played out in front of some of the most spectacular scenery the United Kingdom has to offer. We thank all our stakeholders, including the Welsh Government, for their continued support of the Women’s Tour.”

Nightly highlight shows will be broadcast via ITV in the UK, and via Eurosport and GCN around the world, but SweetSpot, the race organisers, are still working to secure the necessary funding to provide live television coverage.

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Issy Ronald has just graduated from the London School of Economics where she studied for an undergraduate and masters degree in History and International Relations. Since doing an internship at Procycling magazine, she has written reports for races like the Tour of Britain, Bretagne Classic and World Championships, as well as news items, recaps of the general classification at the Grand Tours and some features for Cyclingnews. Away from cycling, she enjoys reading, attempting to bake, going to the theatre and watching a probably unhealthy amount of live sport.