Next Week: Women’s Tour

Many of Britain’s best female racing cyclists will be taking on the Worlds best at the country’s leading Women’s International stage race, the Women’s Tour

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Next Week: Women’s Tour

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Thirteen of the fourteen UCI Women’s WorldTour squads will compete in this year’s Women’s Tour which is set for its joint largest field ever: 102 riders across 17 teams. This year’s Women’s Tour begins in Colchester (Monday 6 June) with a stage that culminates in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Following stage two in Harlow (Tuesday 7 June), subsequent legs will visit Gloucestershire (stage three, Wednesday 8 June) and Wales (stages four and five on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 June). The race will conclude in Oxfordshire on Saturday 11 June with a stage between picturesque Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds and the heart of historic Oxford

Former champions Kasia Niewiadoma and Coryn Labecki will be joined by past stage winners Lorena Wiebes, Christine Majerus and Chloe Hosking on the start line of this year’s Women’s Tour. Britain’s leading women’s stage race has once again attracted a world-class field for its eighth edition, which begins in Colchester on Monday 6 June.

Niewiadoma, who triumphed in 2017 and finished second two years later, will start off among the favourites for this year’s title. The Polish rider, who competes for the Canyon//SRAM Racing team, is also two-time Women’s Tour stage winner. One of the best climbers in the peloton, Niewiadoma will be one to watch on stage five, which finishes atop the Black Mountain in Carmarthenshire.

Labecki succeeded Niewiadoma as overall champion and will lead a Team Jumbo – Visma squad that also features British star Anna Henderson. A former American national champion, the 29-year-old has previously won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Tour of Flanders, as well as stage in the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile. Returning to compete in her second Women’s Tour is Team DSM’s Lorena Wiebes. The Dutch sprinter claimed back-to-back victories in last year’s race and will be among the favourites for the opening day victory in Bury St Edmunds. Wiebes has already won many races in 2022, including the prestigious Ronde van Drenthe one-day race in her native country in March, and a clean sweep at last weekend’s RideLondon.

Twelve-time Luxembourg road race champion Christine Majerus, who has two Women’s Tour stage wins to her name (in Kettering, 2015, and Norwich, 2016), forms part of an impressive Team SD Worx provisional line-up that also includes 2016 runner-up Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and 2017 UCI road world champion Chantal van den Broeck-Blaak. Hosking was one of the most consistent riders in last year’s race, finishing second in Banbury, third in both Southend and Felixstowe, and fourth in Clacton. A stage winner in the race five years ago in Royal Leamington Spa, Hosking (Trek – Segafredo) is also the reigning Commonwealth Games road race champion.

Other riders due to take part in this year’s race are 2021 runner-up Clara Copponi (FRA, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains winner Elise Chabbey (SUI, Canyon//SRAM Racing), this year’s Paris-Roubaix winner Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA, Trek – Segafredo) and her team-mate, newly-crowned UCI World Hour Record holder Ellen van Dijk (NED), plus another former ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains champion in Audrey Cordon Ragot (FRA).

Best of British taking on the International stars
British road race champion Pfeiffer Georgi heads a line-up of Britain’s most talented riders heading to the eighth edition of the Women’s Tour, Britain’s leading UCI Women’s WorldTour event, next month (Monday 6 – Saturday 11 June).

Georgi, who won her national title at Lincoln in October, finished eighth overall on her debut in the Women’s Tour last year and went close to winning stage two in Walsall with a late attack. The Team DSM rider will be racing on home roads on stage three when the race visits Gloucestershire for the first time. The 21-year-old lives in Breadstone, a short distance south of that day’s finish in Gloucester’s historic docks.

Commenting on her return to the race Georgi said; “I’m really excited to be racing at the Women’s Tour this year as it’s always special racing on home roads and even more so being able to wear the national champions jersey. I’m particularly looking forward to stage three, which finishes very close to my home. So it will be on a lot of my local training roads and I know a lot of my family will be there to watch!”

One of the stars of the Tour Series, Sammie Stuart who won two rounds in 2022, will also be present in the race after joining UCI team Cams Basso this week. Previous British road race champion Jess Roberts (Team Coop – Hitec Products) will also be on the start line at the Colchester Sports Park for stage one. For Roberts, the 2018 British champion, starting this year’s event will mark her debut in the six-day race. Stage five, which runs between Pembrey Country Park and the Black Mountain, will take place entirely in her native Carmarthenshire.

Roberts said: “The Women’s Tour is one of the races I’ve always really wanted to do. I was meant to do it in 2020 but obviously couldn’t because of the pandemic, and then last year I wasn’t able to ride because of injury. I’m really excited to be on the start line this year with Team Coop – Hitec Products. I’m particularly excited for stage five, which goes along my home training roads. It will be really special to race on them, and my family will be able to watch too! It’s definitely going be a tough stage, that’s for sure!”

Roberts’ Team Coop – Hitec Products team-mate Josie Nelson also returns to the race next month. Runner-up to Georgi in last year’s British championships, Nelson finished in the top 15 of all but one stage of the 2021 Women’s Tour on her debut aged just 19.

Tour Series star Sammie Stuart

Nelson, who rode for VeloUK sponsor Cycle Division before moving up into the international peloton, said; “Last year’s Women’s Tour was one of my favourite races of the season, so when I found out we were invited again this year I was thrilled. There aren’t many big races that happen in the UK so this is always a highlight of my calendar. I particularly enjoy this race as it’s on home soil and the crowds make it feel so special.”

Two-time Olympic champion Katie Archibald will return to the race after a four-year absence. The Scottish track star, who has also won four world titles during an illustrious career, heads up CERATIZIT – WNT Pro Cycling’s six-rider squad. Archibald has recorded three top-10 stages finishes during her four previous participations, including fifth in London on the final day of the 2017 race.

Former World Hour Record holder Jos Lowden will line up for Uno-X Pro Cycling Team. Also confirmed to ride is Team Jumbo – Visma’s Anna Henderson, for whom the 2022 tour will represent a race debut. The Hertfordshire rider (23) beat Lowden to win the British time trial championships last October and took her biggest international victory of her career to date at the Festival Elsy Jacobs stage race in Luxembourg last month.

Stage one Colchester to Bury St Edmunds Monday 6 June
Stage two Harlow to Harlow Tuesday 7 June
Stage three Tewkesbury to Gloucester Wednesday 8 June
Stage four Wrexham to Welshpool Thursday 9 June
Stage five Pembrey Country Park to Black Mountain Friday 10 June
Stage six Chipping Norton to Oxford Saturday 11 June


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