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Women's Tour returns with virtual race series in June

SKODA V-Series Women's Tour
SKODA V-Series Women's Tour (Image credit: Women's Tour)

Organisers of the Women's Tour have announced the creation of a three-stage virtual race using the RGT Cycling platform between June 17-19. 

Race organiser SweetSpot has announced 15 professional teams that will take part in the new SKODA V-Series Women's Tour in support of charities Breast Cancer Now and Mind.

Several leading teams where quick to show their support for the virtual race, including Trek-Segafredo and Bigla-Katusha.

"We have been working with RGT Cycling since 2019 to develop a virtual version of one of our events to bring the race and athletes to a new audience, and as one of the jewels in the crown of SweetSpot’s portfolio of events it is great that the Women’s Tour has become the first with which we can do that," said Jonathan Durling, Partnerships Director for organisers SweetSpot.

"As soon as the COVID-19 situation hit and we were forced to postpone the Women’s Tour in March, we accelerated those plans and have worked tirelessly as a team to bring the inaugural ŠKODA V-SERIES Women’s Tour to fruition. eSports are an important and growing area of both the sporting landscape and in the arena of professional cycling and we look forward to bringing our event to screens around the world on 17 June."

The event will open with a 38.4km stage to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. The second stage will offer a 35.7km race to Burton Dassett in Warwickshire, where the participants will tackle the 1.7km ascent three times. The racing will conclude with a 35km circuit race held on a one-kilometre loop through the business district of Canary Wharf, London.

The first two stages will use RGT Cycling's 'Magic Roads' software, which allows event organisers to utilise GPX files to simulate the routes and profiles. The final stage will use RGT Cycling’s ultra-realistic Real Roads.

Members of the public will also have the chance to ride the three routes with a suggested donation of £5 to raise money for Breast Cancer Now and Mind.

All three stages will be broadcast live and streamed online on a variety of platforms, with racing getting underway at 14:00 EST / 19:00 BST each day.

SweetSpot announced last month that it was forced to cancel the Women's Tour, which was originally scheduled to take place in June, due to health and safety precautions surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Organisers plan to return to the Women's WorldTour calendar in 2021.

"I am delighted that we have been able to ensure that the Women’s Tour continues to go ahead in 2020, bringing exciting live sport to everyone at a time when it is needed most," said Lisa Kirkbright, Communications Manager at ŠKODA UK.

"ŠKODA is passionate about supporting the next generation of elite cyclists so it is fantastic that the first event of this Virtual Series replaces the postponed Women’s Tour, which has long been the most globally recognised event of the UCI Women’s WorldTour. I am excited to see how this innovative and new approach to cycling will inspire future generations to get on their bikes."

Skoda V-Series Women's Tour - Teams

  • Bigla-Katusha
  • Bizkaia Durango
  • Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
  • CAMS Tifosi
  • Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling
  • Drops
  • FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
  • Great Britain
  • Hitec Products Birk Sport
  • Lotto Soudal Ladies
  • Rally Cycling
  • Storey Racing
  • Team Breeze
  • Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
  • Trek-Segafredo