Race will start in Daventry on June 7, and finish in London on June 11
The Women’s Tour 2017 route has been announced, with five stages in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire Derbyshire, and a final criterium race in London.
This year will see the fourth edition of the race, taking place from June 7 – 11, but will be the first time that the race has finished the capital, using the same six-kilometre circuit around central London as the men’s Tour of Britain.
Speaking at the launch of the route, race director Mick Bennett (who has the same role at the Tour of Britain) said that he was looking forward to the London finale as well as returning to more familiar terrain in the Midlands.
“Having the Mayor of London invite us to London for the final stage of The Women’s Tour shows the status of the event, that just three years on from its creation it can be a part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour and feature all of the world’s top 15 teams.
“This year’s route will combine testing climbs and beautiful scenery in the heart of England with the London finish, which will be an undoubted highlight of the sporting calendar.
“Counties such as Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Derbyshire have embraced The Women’s Tour, so this year’s edition will see yet more of the huge roadside crowds cheering on the world’s best.”
Olympic champion Katie Archibald should be riding the race with WNT Pro Cycling, and said that she is looking forward to returning to the race for the first time since 2015.
“The race being hosted by London is a fantastic opportunity for women’s cycling and shows how far the sport has grown over the past couple of years.
“I’m excited but also nervous about the opportunity to ride The Women’s Tour since it’s one of the most competitive stage races on the women’s UCI calendar. Riding for Team WNT I hope to make an impact on the road scene after a change of focus from an enjoyable track season in 2016”.
The Women’s Tour 2017 route: stage-by-stage
Stage one: Daventry to Kettering (148km)
The Women’s Tour has visited Northamptonshire for every edition of the race, and will return once more in 2017, with a stage start in Daventry and a finish in Kettering.
Previous winners here have included Christine Majerus and Lotta Lepisto, so expect a bunch sprint to decide the race’s opening yellow jersey
Stage two: Stoke-on-Trent to Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent has been a favourite haunt of both The Women’s Tour and the Tour of Britain in recent years, and although full details of this stage have yet to be released, expect the same twisty uphill finish that saw Marianne Vos win in 2016.
Full details of stage two will be announced soon.
Stage three: Atherstone to Royal Leamingston Spa (151km)
Last year’s stage from Atherstone to Stratford-upon-Avon saw Amy Pieters sprint to victory in foul conditions, so the peloton will be hoping for better weather on 2017’s similar stage finishing in Leamington Spa.
There are some tough climbs in the the final third of the stage, another bunch sprint on the wide streets of the spa town.
Stage four: Chesterfield to Chesterfield (133km)
The 2017 Derbyshire stage is just as hard, with more than 2,000m of climbing and an extra 20km added in length.
Stage five: Central London (88.2km)
The Women’s Tour makes its first trip to the capital, with a spectacular criterium around the streets of central London.
The stage will start and finish on Regent’s Street, and take in Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus multiple times over the course of the six-lap race.