The Aviva Women’s tour is set to take place on 17th to 21st June 2015 and will see some of the world’s greatest female cyclists take on the five stages of the gruelling race.
According to Strava, the global online community for athletes, there has been a serious upsurge in the amount of women taking up cycling. Since the first Aviva Women’s Tour took place in 2014, there has been an 82% increase in female members, with those women logging over 44 million kilometres in the UK alone.
It would seem that female interest in cycling has skyrocketed within the last 12 months, especially as the Aviva Women’s Tour continues to inspire a new generation of female cyclists.
16 teams from around the world will put forward six riders to take place in the race, namely the team leader who will aim for the highest position possible on the general classification, a sprinter who will target specific stage wins, a climber who specialises in stages where hills are more prevalent and an array of helpers or “domestiques” whose job is to keep their team leader protected against the energy sapping wind, hydrated and offer their bike up if something goes wrong.
The teams themselves are made up of some of the best cyclists in the world, including 2012 Summer Olympics silver medal winner Lizzie Armitstead who is representing Boels Dolmans, fresh after her win at the Ladies Tour of Qatar stage race. Lizzie will be competing against teams such as Wiggle Honda led by double World Champion Giorgia Bronzini, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International with Dame Sarah Storey and multiple Olympic champion Laura Trott who will represent Matrix Fitness.
The 5 stages
The first stage of The Aviva Women’s Tour kicks off in Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday 17 June. This stage will take riders into the Suffolk countryside and will culminate in what promises to be an exciting 3km dash for the finish line alongside Aldeburgh Beach and the North Sea.
The second stage starts in a completely new venue for 2015 – Braintree. Riders acquainted with the 2014 course will be heading through familiar territory before too long as the course will then take them through Sudbury and Hadleigh. The stage then concludes in Marine Parade, at the Clacton sea front. Riders will be expecting an unkind headwind so a bunch sprint will most likely be the order of the day here!
Stage 3 is expected to be the first real climbing challenge for the riders as there is a myriad climbs and undulating roads to navigate. Oundle will play host to the start of stage 3 on Friday 19th of June where riders will then have to race through ancient streets before the final run to the finish line in Kettering. Officials have said they strongly suspect this stage to end with a small breakaway group of riders battling it out for the honour of winning this stage.
Stage 4 starts in the Borough of Broxbourne and runs through Royston and Walkem before culminating in a sprint to the finish line in the Old Town of Stevenage. Many of the roads in this stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour have been likened to the roads of the Northern European Classics due to the short and sharp rises and scenic routes on roads through exposed fields.
The final stage of the Women’s Tour begins in Marlow overlooking the banks of the River Thames. Spectators will get the opportunity to cheer on their teams as the route takes riders through Prestwood, Great Missenden, Chesham and Tring before the final sprint to the finish line on the Leighton Buzzard Road near Gadebridge Park. The final kilometers of this race will be very fast indeed.
So tune in a cheer on our riders this year!