Twelve of the world’s top 15 teams will be among those in action at this year’s Women’s Tour (Monday 4 – Saturday 9 October), the UK’s most prestigious women’s cycle race.
Colchester and Clacton will host the penultimate stage of the Women’s Tour, which will see the just confirmed 16 teams race from the historic castle town to the Essex Sunshine Coast on Friday 8 October.
Rescheduled from its traditional June calendar position to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race will nonetheless attract an all-star field once again for its seventh edition, with all nine of the top division UCI Women’s WorldTour teams confirmed to race.
Among those are SD Worx, the world’s number one team, and the squads of four of the race’s previous overall winners: Trek-Segafredo (Lizzie Deignan, 2019 champion), Team DSM (Coryn Rivera, 2018 champion), Canyon SRAM Racing (Kasia Niewiadoma, 2017 champion) and Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling (Lisa Brennauer, 2015 winner).
British interest comes in the form of AWOL O’Shea, CAMS-Basso Bikes – both Women’s Tour debutants – and Drops-Le Col s/b TEMPUR. 2021 will mark Drops’ fifth appearance in the event, while the Essex-based CAMS team will be on home soil for the race’s fourth and fifth stages (Shoeburyness to Southend on Thursday 7 October, Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea on Friday 8 October).
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, the second American team competing in the event, return for a second appearance having also dominated the ŠKODA V-Women’s Tour virtual race held during the COVID-19 pandemic last June.
The full list of teams competing in the 2021 Women’s Tour is:
Alé BTC Ljubljana (Italy)
AWOL O’Shea (Great Britain)
CAMS-Basso Bikes (Great Britain)
Canyon SRAM Racing (Germany)
Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling (Germany)
Drops-Le Col s/b TEMPUR. (Great Britain)
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope (France)
Liv Racing (Netherlands)
Movistar Team (Spain)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Netherlands)
SD Worx (Netherlands)
Team BikeExchange (Australia)
Team DSM (Germany)
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA)
Valcar-Travel & Service (Italy)
Councillor Paul Dundas, Leader of Colchester Borough Council said: “It is thrilling to hear the announcement today that sixteen elite cycling teams from around the globe will be coming to Colchester to compete in October. This is a wonderful opportunity to put Colchester on the world’s stage and I’m sure residents, schools, businesses and visitors will turn out in their thousands to cheer them on through the borough.”
Councillor Alex Porter, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said: “It is exciting to see just what an international spectacle we have coming to our district, showcasing our beautiful area to the world. It’s also pleasing to see we have some local teams – and therefore hopefully some local riders – we can cheer on as the thrill of a cycle race unfolds on the roads of the Essex Sunshine Coast.”
Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said: “After the challenges that the Women’s Tour has faced since the start of 2020, it is extremely uplifting to know that when we finally return in October our passionate fans will again be able to enjoy watching the world’s best teams and riders along the roadside – all for free, too! We’ve designed a route that will make sure the battle for overall glory goes down to the final day. Roll on October!”
Danelle Every, British Cycling’s cycling delivery director, said: “Year after year, the Women’s Tour attracts the best teams in the world and 2021 is proving to be no different. Despite the disappointment of last year’s postponement, we know that the riders on show – who will be cheered on by brilliant crowds over six days of racing – will make this latest edition one of the most spectacular yet.
“After the explosion in cycling participation that we have seen during the pandemic, we hope that this event will be a fantastic showcase to help us nurture the next generation of female talent and to inspire more women and girls across the nation to have a go at a local cycling event whatever their age or ability.
“We’re incredibly proud of how the Women’s Tour has established itself as a mainstay of the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar and real celebration of incredible female talent, so we are all eagerly anticipating its return in October.”
Full details of the 2021 Women’s Tour – including stage routes and timetables; SKODA Queen of the Mountains and sprint locations; and competing riders – will be announced shortly.
Colchester Borough Council in partnership with Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd, its wholly owned commercial company, will work alongside SweetSpot to host and promote the Colchester event and ensure residents and businesses in the borough can support and be part of the occasion. The stage will proudly showcase Colchester’s Northern Gateway Sports Park, the new 76-acre, multi-use venue that includes a one-mile, closed-road cycling circuit.
Meanwhile Tendring District Council is working to bring the stage finish to Clacton for the third time since the inaugural race came in 2014, with spectators hoping to see either a breakaway escape to the finish line or a fast sprint finish sweep down the seafront road.