Race organizers announced today, that more than a dozen top women’s teams will compete in the inaugural Women’s Tour in May.
Eleven teams from eight different countries are confirmed to participate in the five-day race in Great Britain that starts May 7. The full startlist, which will include 16 teams and 96 riders, has yet to be announced.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring such a world-class field of teams to ride in the first ever Women’s Tour,” organizer Guy Elliott of SweetSpot Group said in a press release. “The race has attracted a wonderful field of elite riders from all over the world, which will be one of the strongest fields ever assembled for an elite women’s international race, and a route which will feature some of the most beautiful roads, villages, towns and countryside in Great Britain.”
Marianne Vos and the Rabo Liv squad will compete for the overall title, and they’ll be joined by Orica-AIS, Boels Dolmans, Specialized-lululemon, and the Wiggle Honda team of British Olympians Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell, and Dani King.
Also slated to start is British domestic team Matrix Fitness, UnitedHealthcare, and Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies.
Confirmed teamsAstana Bepink Women’s Team (ITA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (NED) Estado de Mexico Faren (MEX) Great Britain (GBR) Hitec Products (NOR) Lotto Belisol Ladies (BEL) Matrix Fitness-Vulpine (GBR) Netherlands (NED) Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA) Orica-AIS (AUS) Rabo Liv Women’s Cycling Team (NED) Specialized-lululemon (USA) UnitedHealthcare (USA) Wiggle Honda (GBR) 2014 Women’s Tour
Stage 1: May 7, Oundle to NorthamptonStage 2: May 8, Hinckley to Bedford Stage 3: May 9, Felixstowe to Clacton Stage 4: May 10, Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City Stage 5: May 11, Harwich to Bury St. Edmunds
A star studded field will assemble in Oundle for the opening stage of the first ever Women’s Tour on Wednesday 7th May.
Joining the already confirmed Marianne Vos and her Rabo Liv team will be the likes of Orica – AIS, Boels Dolmans, Specialized Lululemon and the Wiggle Honda team of British Olympians Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King.
Alongside them will be the national side of the world’s number one ranked nation, the Netherlands, plus a Great Britain national team led by Leicestershire’s Lucy Garner.
British domestic team Matrix Fitness – Vulpine also earn an invite for the first ever UCI level stage race for women to take place in the UK, organised by SweetSpot Group, while UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s participation will mean Hannah Barnes racing in her home county of Northamptonshire on the opening day of The Women’s Tour.
The Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team will also travel from the USA to race in The Women’s Tour, with the final two teams for the 16-team, 96-rider field to be announced in due course.
"We are thrilled to be able to bring such a world-class field of teams to ride in the first ever Women’s Tour", said Guy Elliott from organisers SweetSpot Group.
"The race has attracted a wonderful field of elite riders from all over the world, which will be one of the strongest fields ever assembled for an elite women’s international race, and a route which will feature some of the most beautiful roads, villages, towns and countryside in Great Britain."
The current line-up includes teams from eight different nations with the race expected to draw a high quality field featuring the best riders from each of the named teams, with further rider announcements and the identities of the final two international teams to follow in due course, pending visa confirmations.
The full list of teams for The Women’s Tour is as follows: • Astana Bepink Women’s Team (Ita) • Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Ned) • Estado de Mexico Faren (Mex) • Great Britain (GBr) • Hitec Products (Nor) • Lotto Belisol Ladies (Bel) • Matrix Fitness – Vulpine (GBr) • Netherlands (Ned) • Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA) • Orica – AIS (Aus) • Rabo Liv Women’s Cycling Team (Ned) • Specialized – Lululemon (USA) • UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team (USA) • Wiggle Honda (GBr)
The Women’s Tour will take place over five stages between Wednesday 7th and Sunday 11th May, beginning in Northamptonshire with an opening stage from Oundle to Northampton.
Leicestershire, Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire will all host subsequent stages in the event, before the final stage finish in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, with highlights of every stage shown on ITV4.
The Women’s Tour 2014 Teams
Italian team ranked tenth in the world who are linked to the men’s World Tour team Astana. Belarussian world number fourteen Alena Amialiusik will led them in Britain.
Leading Dutch team ranked third in the world who will likely include 2012 Olympic Games Silver medallist and reigning British National Champion Lizzie Armitstead and Hertfordshire’s Emma Trott amongst their six rider line-up.
Ranked eleventh in the world, the Faren team have new Mexican sponsorship for 2014 and with it 2013 World Road Race Bronze medallist Rossella Ratto, plus Merseyside’s Lucy Martin, who was a member of Great Britain’s Olympic line-up in 2012.
A young Great Britain national team who will be led by Leicestershire’s Lucy Garner, a double Junior World Road Race Champion and include several other up-and-coming British talents to showcase the next generation of champions.
World’s number seven ranked squad from Norway, who will be led by World Championship Bronze medallist Elisa Longo Borghini, herself ranked sixth in the world.
The team of Britain’s Emma Pooley, a former World Champion and Olympic Silver medallist, who are ranked twelfth in the world and will be The Women’s Tour sole Belgian team.
A young domestic team from the UK women’s professional circuit featuring several riders with links to the East of England, including Bedfordshire’s Helen Wyman, recent Bronze medallist at the World Cyclo Cross Championships in the Netherlands.
The world’s number one ranked nation will bring the top Dutch riders and future stars not otherwise involved with one of the Dutch professional teams riding The Women’s Tour.
Ranked thirteenth in the world, the American team will be led by Canada’s Joelle Numainville, who represented her country at the London Olympics.
The number two ranked team in the world, from Australia, Orica AIS are closely linked with men’s World Tour team Orica GreenEDGE and will be led by world number one Emma Johansson of Sweden.
The world’s number one team led by reigning Olympic and World Champion Marianne Vos, who is widely acknowledged to be not only the greatest ever female cyclist but is also considered to be one of the most exceptional athletes, male or female, of any sport in the world today.
Ranked fourth in the world, Specialized Lululemon are led by world number seven Evelyn Stevens. The American team have already enjoyed success in Great Britain with Loren Rowney finishing on the podium of the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix last August.
An American team with a strong British accent in Northamptonshire’s star Hannah Barnes and former British Champion Sharon Laws, plus a British manager in Rachel Heal, a Commonwealth Games medallist. The men’s team have already enjoyed much success in recent editions of The Tour of Britain.
Ranked sixth in the world, and Britain’s leading professional women’s team, Wiggle Honda have three reigning Olympic Champions in Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King, plus double World Champion Giorgia Bronzini.
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