Women's Tour cyclists to race through the Forest of Dean
THE world’s best female cyclists will travel through all four towns in the Forest this summer as part of the UK’s most prestigious women’s cycle race, the Woman’s Tour.
The tour - which is regarded as “one of, if not the” leading professional women’s stage races in the international calendar - will pass through Gloucestershire for the first time in 2022, on a route from Tewkesbury to Gloucester via the Forest of Dean.
This year’s race, which is the first to take place in its traditional June slot since 2019 because of the pandemic, will feature all 14 of the top-ranked teams in the world.
A total of 108 riders will compete in this year’s event, which is the biggest field in the eight-year history of the Women’s Tour.
The organisers say the Gloucestershire stage will provide a “free-to-watch sporting spectacle” for local people, with the start and finish - Tewkesbury town centre and Gloucester Docks - little over 10 miles away from each other, meaning spectators can attend both on the same day.
The organisers say the climbs at Speech House (1.6km long, average gradient of 5.6 per cent) and St White’s Road in Cinderford (1.2km long, average gradient of 8.1 per cent) offer “potential launchpads” for attacks on the run in to the finish line in Gloucester.
Competitors in the race will include defending champion Demi Vollering of the world’s number one squad, Team SD Worx of the Netherlands, and the UK’s 2016 and 2019 champion Lizzie Deignan, of the USA’s Trek-Segafredo.
The British teams set to feature are Le Col - Wahoo, who will compete in the tour for a sixth time, and the Essex-based CAM S - Basso.
The Woman’s Tour was established as part of the Union Cyclists Internationale (UCI) Women’s WorldTeams calendar in 2014.
The annual tour is organised by Sweetspot, which is the company behind the men’s Tour of Britain.
The Gloucestershire leg is Stage Three of the race, which will take place on Wednesday, June 8.
The tour will begin in Colchester on Monday, June 6 and concludes in Oxford on Saturday, June 11.
Highlights of this year’s race will be broadcast on ITV4.
For more information and to view a map of the local stage, go to www.womenstour.co.uk/route-for-gloucestershires-first-ever-womens-tour-stage-revealed.
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