The Women’s Tour is Britain’s first ever professional women’s stage race. It will take place over five stages from 7-11 May 2014 and has attracted a field of 16 of the world’s top women’s cycling teams.
Here's our guide to the stages, riders, teams and jerseys.
Stage 1 – Wednesday 7 May - Oundle to Northampton – 92.4km
The opening stage will see the field leave the town of Oundle, heading south west through Northamptonshire to finish in Northampton itself. The stage has two intermediate sprints at Rushton and Hunsbury and two Queen of the Mountains (QoM) points at Harrington and Spratton.
Stage 2 – Thursday 8 May - Hinckley to Bedford – 118.5km
Stage two begins in the market town of Hinckley in Leicestershire and heads north east towards the outskirts of Leicester before turning south east back through Northamptonshire and on to the finish on the Embankment in Bedford. It has two intermediate sprints at Lutterworth and Turvey, while the Queen of the Mountains points are at Kilworth and Naseby.
Stage 3 – Friday 9 May - Felixstowe to Clacton-on-Sea – 90.5km
Stage three sees a move to East Anglia with the start at the port town of Felixstowe in Suffolk. The route heads inland to pass through Ipswich city centre before making its way back to the coast for the finish at the seaside resort of Clacton-on-Sea. On the way there are two sprints at Little Bealings and Thorpe le Soken and two QoMs at Freston and Holbrook.
Stage 4 – Saturday 10 May – Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City – 87.8km
The penultimate stage begins in Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, looping north to Letchworth Garden City before heading back south the finishing in Welwyn. Two sprints punctuate the route at Baldock and Codicote, with the day’s QoMs are at Hertford and Digswell Hill.
Stage 5 – Sunday 11 May – Harwich to Bury St. Edmunds – 108.3km
The Women’s Tour finale begins on the coast in the harbour town of Harwich in Essex, heading inland via Sudbury and Stowmarket to finish in Bury St. Edmunds. The final two sprints are a Mistley and Long Melford while the last chance to grab QoM points comes at Long Melford and Brettenham. The grand finale will take place on Angel Hill in Bury St. Edmunds, where the inaugural Women’s Tour winners will be crowned.
A stellar field of 16 of the world’s best women’s cycling teams will take to the start in Oundle, including three national teams, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Top riders include reigning Olympic and world champion Marianne Vos, Great Britain's Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead, along with a host of other British talent including Olympic track gold medallists Laura Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, Elinor Barker and Kate Archibald plus double junior road world champion Lucy Garner.
- Astana Bepink Women's Team (Italy)
- Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Netherlands)
- Estado de Mexico Faren (Mexico)
- Great Britain
- Hitec Products (Norway)
- Lointek (Spain)
- Lotto Belisol Ladies (Belgium)
- Matrix Fitness – Vulpine (Great Britain)
- Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
- Orica – AIS (Australia)
- Rabo Liv Women's Cycling Team (Netherlands)
- Specialized – Lululemon (USA)
- UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team (USA)
- Wiggle Honda (Great Britain)
- Friends Life Yellow Jersey - Awarded each day to the rider with the lowest cumulative time - the overall leader of the race.
- The Points Jersey - Awarded each day for intermediate sprints and stage finishing position. The top 15 riders at each stage finish score.
- The Strava Queen of the Mountains Jersey - Each stage has two Queen of the Mountains locations, with points awarded differing depending on the severity of each climb.
- The Matrix Fitness Best Young Rider Jersey - Awarded each day to the best under 23 rider on the overall classification.
- The Best British Rider Jersey - Awarded to the best British rider on general classification each day, with the aim of creating a sub-competition for British riders.