Marianne Vos will compete in this year’s inaugural Women’s Tour, it was announced this morning.
The reigning world and Olympic road race champion will spearhead the Rabo Live team in the event, which begins in Northamptonshire on May 7.
"It's great that we get a big new stage race on our calendar with The Women's Tour," said Vos, who won an Olympic gold medal on her last road race appearance in Britain.
"The times that I've raced in Great Britain – with of course the London Olympic Games fresh in my mind – I have been amazed by the huge crowds and the enthusiastic people. I'm sure it will be a fantastic event and I'm looking forward to competing here with the best riders from all over the World.”
Because of the race's 2.1 UCI ranking, the best available for a women's stage race, organiser SweetSpot are able to invite the top 10-ranked squads to the event.
Cycling Weekly understands that interest among these squads is high, raising the possibility that the Boels-Dolmans and Wiggle-Honda – the teams of Lizzie Armitstead and Ellen van Dijk, and Laura Trott and Giorgia Bronzini respectively – will compete.
One domestic team, believed to be Matrix-Vulpine, are also scheduled to start.
The Women's Tour 2014: stages
Stage one: Oundle to Northampton, May 7
Stage two: Hinckley to Bedford, May 8
Stage three: Felixstowe to Clacton, May 9
Stage four: Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City, May 10
Stage five: Harwich to Bury St Edmunds, May 11
SweetSpot director Guy Elliot tells CW he is "pleased" with how the race is looking five months out
Inaugural British Women's Tour will kick off in May 2014 in Oundle, Northamptonshire and visit Hinckley and Bedford
Organisers SweetSpot announce early details of Stage One of the 2014 race
Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.
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