Friends Life announced as title sponsor of the Women’s Tour

Life assurance provider enters the world of cycling sponsorship having backed the t20 cricket competition since 2010.

Life assurance provider Friends Life was this morning announced as the title sponsor for this year’s Women’s Tour.

The FTSE 100 company, which also backs the popular t20 cricket competition, will also have its logos bedeck the race leader’s yellow jersey.

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Today’s announcement ends what has been a lengthy search for financial backers by race organiser SweetSpot. In December, event director Guy Elliott described the hunt for a title sponsor as “tough, regardless of the event

Women's Tour QoM jerseySupporters of the race’s other jerseys have been found. Strava will sponsor the Queen of the Mountains classification (jersey, left), Matrix will back the Best Young Rider competition, and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research will become partners of the Best British Rider jersey.

The sponsor of the “green-ish” points jersey will be announced in due course.

Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of organisers SweetSpot said of today’s announcement:  “This partnership is very much an affirmation of what we wanted for The Women’s Tour when we set out on this journey.

“Securing the support of such an established blue chip organisation, will raise the profile of not only women’s cycling but women’s sport in general within the UK – Friends Life are the perfect fit.”

Current world cup leader Lizzie Armitstead, along with current world road race and time trial champions Marianne Vos and Ellen van Dijk, are among those competing in the inaugural edition of the race.

Women’s Tour 2014: Stages

Stage one, Wednesday May 7
Oundle to Northampton, 93.8km

Stage two, Thursday May 8
Hinckley to Bedford, 118.5km

Stage three, Friday May 9
Felixstowe to Clacton-on-Sea, 90.5km

Stage four, Saturday May 10
Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City, 87.8km

Stage five, Sunday May 11
Harwich to Bury St. Edmunds, 108.3km