Race will start in Framlingham, Suffolk and a finish in Colwyn Bay, Wales.

The international women’s peloton comes to the UK in June for the fifth edition of the Ovo Energy Women’s Tour.

The 2018 race will take place from June 13-17 and it was announced in March that it will share parity with the men’s Tour of Britain with a huge boost in the prize pot – from  €35,000 (£31,000) to €90,000 (£80,000).

The race was awarded UCI Women’s WorldTour status in 2016, meaning that it is part of the top-level series of international races. All of the top women’s teams will therefore take part.

>> London finale shows Women’s Tour is ‘biggest and best’ stage race in the world, says organiser

Women’s Tour 2018 route and where to watch

The race typically draws in large crowds – riders routinely comment on the impressive number of spectators that line the route, more so than other UCI Women’s WorldTour events overseas.

The result is a fantastic atmosphere that we know the riders appreciate just as much as the fans do.

The route has been announced – with a Suffolk start, and a finish in Colwyn Bay, Wales.

Women's Tour 2018 stages

Stage one – Weds June 13 Framlingham to Southwold  130km
Stage two – Thurs June 14  Rushden to Daventry  145km
Stage three – Fri June 15 Atherstone to Royal Leamington Spa  151km
Stage four – Sat Jun 16 Evesham to Worcester  130km
Stage five – Sun June 17 Dolgellau to Colwyn Bay  122km

Stage one: Framlingham to Southwold – 130km

the women's tour

the women's tour

Having skipped the Suffolk stage in 2017, the race returns to an area which has played host to every other edition since its inaugural year – and we’re expecting a sprint finish stage. There’s only one classified climb, in Christchurch Park, before the peloton loops back through the start for the second of two intermediate sprints.

The Suffolk lanes will lead the riders out to the coast, for a fast finish with a downhill approach.

Stage two: Rushden to Daventry – 145km

The women's tour

the women's tour

With twice as much climbing as stage one, this undulating course packs most of the tough stuff into the final 40km.

The route skirts Milton Keynes, before heading to the first of three classified climbs, which is just 1km long. Newnham Hill – covered twice in the final circuit around Daventry – is likely to be more impactful, with the second ascent taking place just 2.5km from the finish, followed by a narrow descent.

Stage three: Atherstone to Royal Lemmington Spa – 151km

the women's tour

the women's tour

The longest stage of the race, this will be another undulating day. There’s two classified climbs, within 12km of each other, and featuring ramps approaching 20 per cent. Following the tip of Burton Dassett, there’s 26km to the finish line in Leamington – and it remains to be seen if the sprinters will be close enough the front of the race to contest this one or not.

Stage four: Eversham to Worcester – 130km

the women's tour

the women's tour

The third in a trio of undulating stages, this area is new ground for the race which hasn’t visited Worcester before.

From the start in Eversham, the route loops west, then south before heading up the Cotswold Escarpment to Snowshill – which is two miles long, with an average gradient of five per cent. A break is possible, but following the climb, there’s still 90km to go. With more climbing to come, an escapee group would have to work hard not to be caught before the finish.

Stage five: Dolgellau to Colwyn Bay – 122km

the womens tour

the women's tour

The Queen stage has been saved until last, with this hilly 122km being the first mountainous day in the race’s history. Winding through the Snowdonia National Park, there’s two categorised climbs – Bwlch-y-maen and Nant Gwyant. There’s still quite a way to go after the second descent, so an all-rounder could shine.

Women’s Tour 2018 live TV

ITV4 will screen highlights from every stage of the race, you can tune in at the following times:

  • Stage one, Wednesday June 13, 9pm
  • Stage two, Thursday June 14, 8pm
  • Stage three, Friday June 14, 8pm
  • Stage four: Saturday June 16, 8pm
  • Stage five: Sunday June 17, 9pm

The broadcast will be presented by Rebecca Charlton, alongside a selection of guests.

Women’s Tour 2018 jerseys

The star prize at the Women’s Tour is the Green jersey, awarded to the leader of the General Classification.

Other honours include the Points jersey, which goes to the rider who achieves the best results on the line – with points going to the top 15; the winner last year was Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans). The Sprints jersey (Eisburg in 2017, won by Majerus) celebrates the leader of the intermediate sprints.

The Queen of the Mountains jersey (sponsored by SKODA in 2017 and worn by Audrey Cordon Ragot, Wiggle HIGH5) is awarded to the rider who takes the most points on designated climbs.

The Best British rider gets a jersey to show their status, in 2017 sponsored by Adnams and won by Hannah Barnes of Canyon-SRAM.

Women’s Tour 2018 start list (provisional)

Canyon-SRAM
1 Kasia Niewiadoma
2 Hannah Barnes
3 Alice Barnes
4 Alena Amialusik
5 Pauline Ferrand-Prevot
6 Lisa Klein

Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
11 Chantal Blaak
12 Amalie Dideriksen
13 Jip van den Bos
14 Christine Majerus
15 Amy Pieters
16 Anna Plichta

Team Sunweb
21 Coryn Rivera
22 Lucinda Brand
23 Leah Kirchmann
24 Julia Soek
25 Floortje Mackaij
26 Ellen van Dijk

Cervélo-Bigla Pro Cycling
31 Emma Jørgensen
32 Ann-Stophie Duyck
33 Nicole Hanselmann
34 Clara Marie Koppenburg
35 Lotta Lepistö
36 Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig

FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
41 Roxane Fournier
42 Coralie Demay
43 Eugenie Duval
44 Lauren Kitchen
45 Moniek Tenniglo
46 Rozanne Slik

Wiggle HIGH5
51 Lisa Brennauer
52 Katie Archibald
53 Annette Edmondson
54 Audrey Cordon-Ragot
55 Elisa Longo Borghini
56 Kirsten Wild

Cylance Pro Cycling
61 Giorgia Bronzini
62 Jelena Eric
63 Sheyla Gutierrez
64 Rossella Ratto
65 Lauren Stephens
66 Marta Tagliaferro

Mitchelton Scott
71 Jolien D’Hoore
72 Jessica Allen
73 Georgia Williams
74 Gracie Elvin
75 Alexandra Manly
76 Sarah Roy

Alé Cipollini
81 Chloe Hosking
82 Marta Bastianelli
83 Janneke Ensing
84 Romy Kasper
85 Roxane Kneteman
86 Soraya Paladin

Trek-Drops
91 Eva Buurman
92 Lizzie Holden
93 Manon Lloyd
94 Abby-Mae Parkinson
95 Hannah Payton
96 Abi Van Twisk

Waowdeals Pro Cycling
101 Marianne Vos
102 Jeanne Korevaar
103 Anouska Koster
104 Pauliena Rooijakkers
105 Dani Rowe
106 Sabrina Stultiens

Hitec Products-Birk Sport
111 Susanne Andersen
112 Charlotte Becker
113 Simona Frapporti
114 Nina Kessler
115 Ingrid Lorvik
116 Camila Møllebro Pedersen

WNT-Rotor
121 Hayley Simmonds
122 Anna Badegruber
123 Aafke Soet
124 Natalie Grinczer
125 Gabrielle Pilot-Fortin
126 Winanda Spoor

Team Virtu Cycling
131 Barbara Guarischi
132 Emilie Moberg
133 Mieke Kröger
134 Katarzyna Pawlowska
135 Sara Penton
136 Christina Siggaard

BTC City Ljubljana
141 Eugenia Bujak
142 Polona Batagelj
143 Maaike Boogaard
144 Hanna Nilsson
145 Anastasia Iakovenko
146 Urska Pintar

Storey Racing
151 Rebecca Durrell
152 Beth Crumpton
153 Neah Evans
154 Ejay Harris
155 Anna Kay
156 Mel Lowther

Valcar PBM
161 Maria Giulia Confalonieri
162 Chiara Consonni
163 Dalia Muccioli
164 Asja Paladin
165 Ilaria Sanguineti
166 Chiara Zanettin

Women’s Tour 2017 results 

In 2017, Kasia Niewaidoma took WM3 Pro Cycling to General Classification victory – claiming the leader’s jersey on the first stage and wearing it throughout.

Niewaidoma took the overall win at the Women's Tour. Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

Niewaidoma took the overall win at the Women’s Tour. Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

Niewaidoma broke away, taking the win solo and 1 minute 42 ahead of her team mate Marianne Vos who claimed second in a bunch sprint.

The following four stages all resulted in close finishes – won by Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans), Chloe Hosking (Alé Cipollini- Galassia), Sarah Roy (Orica-Scott) and Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-High5) – leaving Niewaidoma to ensure she stayed safely in the bunch to maintain her lead.

Stage one: Wednesday June 7 Daventry to Kettering, 148km Kasia Niewaidoma (WM3 Pro Cycling)  report here
Stage two: Thursday June 8 Stoke-on-Trent to Stoke-on-Trent, 144.5km Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans) report here
Stage three: Friday June 9 Atherstone to Royal Leamingston Spa, 151km Chloe Hosking (Alé Cipollini- Galassia) report here
Stage four: Saturday June 10 Chesterfield to Chesterfield, 133km  Sarah Roy (Orica-Scott) report here
Stage five: Sunday June 11 Central London circuit, 88.2km Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-High5) report here

Women’s Tour: previous winners

2017 Kasia Niewaidoma (Poland)
2016 Lizzie Armistead (Great Britain)
2015 Lisa Brennauer (Germany)
2014 Marianne Vos (Netherlands)