Women’s Tour down to five stages as organiser makes plea for sponsors

Race organiser SweetSpot says event "urgently requires additional commercial income"

Elisa Longo Borghini leads a small group at the Women's Tour 2022
(Image credit: SWPix)

The Women’s Tour, the UK’s premier women’s WorldTour race, will count one fewer stage this year, with the route reduced from six days to five.  

Previously scheduled to start on 6 June, this year's edition will now open on 7 June with a Grand Départ in the historic county of Warwickshire. 

Stage one will begin in Stratford-upon-Avon, travelling east to Royal Leamington Spa. Northampton will then host the start on day two, when the riders will set off for the Bedfordshire town of Ampthill. 

On stage three, the Queen stage, the race will reach its most northerly point as it runs between Dalby Forest and Guisborough in North Yorkshire. 

The peloton will then return to Warwickshire on stage four, racing from Coleshill to Derby, before tackling a city centre circuit in Birmingham on 11 June.  

Women's Tour route map 2023

(Image credit: Women's Tour)

In a press statement released alongside the route, event organiser SweetSpot stressed that the race “urgently requires additional commercial income” for this year’s edition. 

“As well as the title sponsorship of the event, three of the race’s four prestigious jersey classifications (leader, mountains, and best young rider) remain available, while individual partnership packages (including naming rights) have been launched for the first time for selected stages.” 

The event is also without a vehicle sponsor for its race convoy. 

So far, the Women’s Tour has partnered with a handful of businesses, including Brother UK, Accurist and cycleGuard. Cottages.com will also continue to support the race in 2023, after the holiday rental company's contributions meant the race was able to be broadcast live for the first time last year. 

Mick Bennett, the race director of the Women’s Tour, said: “Given the current economic climate, we have had to work harder than ever before to put together a race befitting of the world’s best teams and riders, so I must thank all of our stakeholders for their continued support of the event. 

“We look forward to seeing engaged communities, packed towns, and crowded cities at this year’s race.” 

The Women's Tour began as a five-day event in 2014, before a sixth stage was added in 2019. Last year, Elisa Longo Borghini clinched the overall title, collecting enough bonus seconds on the final day to move into the race lead. 

Further details of this year's route, as well as a list of the competing teams, will be released in the coming weeks. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Women's Tour 2023 route
One7 JuneStratford-upon-AvonRoyal Leamington Spa
Two8 JuneNorthamptonAmpthill
Three9 JuneDalby ForestGuisborough
Four10 JuneColeshillDerby
Five11 JuneBirminghamBirmingham

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