Defending champion returns to OVO Energy Women’s Tour

Defending champion returns to OVO Energy Women’s Tour

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Defending OVO Energy Women’s Tour champion Coryn Rivera will return to Britain’s leading women’s race in June, alongside all four other previous winners of the event, including 2016 champion Lizzie Deignan (Trek Segafredo).

With two stages being held in Wales this year in Powys and Carmarthenshire, the Welsh public will get to see five of the best women riders in action on Welsh roads. Stage five, on the 14th June starts at Llandrindod Wells and finishes at Builth Wells in what has been described as the 'toughest ever stage'. 

The final stage takes place in the county of Carmarthenshire, where the elite women will head out from Carmarthen and finish in the spectacular Pembrey Country Park.

Team Sunweb’s Rivera will take the number one placard having sealed overall victory last June at Colwyn Bay in North Wales, in doing so becoming the first non-European winner.

Lining up alongside her in Stowmarket on Monday 10 June will be the OVO Energy Women’s Tour’s first champion Marianne Vos (CCC Liv), who is the most decorated rider in the history of the race, having won five stages and four jerseys since 2014.

2015 winner Lisa Brennauer (WNT ROTOR Pro Cycling) will continue her record of having participated in every edition of the race, while 2017 victor Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) completes the famous five.

Niewiadoma memorably won the opening stage of the 2017 race in Northamptonshire, giving her an unassailable lead, later crediting her victory to the inspiration message from Laura Hunter on the pink ribbon provided by official charity partner Breast Cancer Care.

Deignan’s victory in 2016 is so far the only overall win in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour for a British rider.  The former World Champion returns to the race after a year’s absence for maternity leave.

Further announcements about the star riders who will complete the 96-rider field will be announced next week.

The 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour expands to six stages, covering 790 kilometres of racing and over 8,400 metres of ascent, with two tough stages in Mid and South Wales concluding the race on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 June.

The race will also include a hill-top finish for the first time, coming on Stage Four (Thursday 13 June) in Warwickshire on Thursday 13 June with riders tackling the 1.2 kilometre, 5% average gradient climb of Burton Dassett Country Park on three occasions during the stage.

Once more the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will offer prize money parity with the men’s Tour of Britain, thanks to award winning independent energy supplier OVO Energy, the title sponsors for a third edition of the race.

In addition to the OVO Energy Green Jersey of race leader, riders will also compete for the Breast Cancer Care Points Jersey, Eisberg Sprints Jersey and SKODA Queen of the Mountains Jersey. British riders will vie for the HSBC UK British Cycling Best British Rider Jersey, supporting British Cycling’s #OneInAMillion campaign to get a million more women cycling by 2020.

ITV4 will screen highlights from every stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, with programmes broadcasting at 20:00 in the UK and available on demand via the ITV Hub catch up service.

All 15 of the world’s top teams from the start of season UCI Women’s WorldTour rankings have accepted their invitations to the event, and will be joined by British team Drops to complete the 16-team, 96-rider field for the race that gets underway in Beccles, Suffolk, on Monday 10 June.

Launched in 2014 by SweetSpot Group, the OVO Energy Women’s Tour is widely regarded as the world’s leading international stage race for women. The race attracts 300,000 roadside spectators, in addition to a worldwide television and online audience of nearly five million people.

Last year’s edition provided an £7.8 million economic boost to the economy, with 87 per cent of visitors to the race describing it as “very enjoyable”.