The leading names in women’s cycling - including all five former race winners and the reigning European and Commonwealth champions – will be competing at next week’s OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
Women’s Tour victors Marianne Vos (CCC – Liv), Lisa Brennauer (WNT – Rotor Pro Cycling), Lizzie Deignan (Trek – Segafredo), Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) and Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) will be joined by Martha Bastianelli (Team VIRTU Cycling), Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) and Chloe Hosking (Alé Cipollini) in Suffolk on Monday (10 June).
Vos, Bastianelli, Niewiadoma, van Dijk and Rivera are also among eight of the world’s current top 15 riders in the UCI rankings who will race in Britain next week.
In addition to having all five former race winners in action, participating riders have claimed 23 of the event’s 25 stage victories to date. Boels Dolmans Cycling Team’s line-up notably features four different stage winners among their six-rider roster: Jolien D’Hoore (Belgian), Amalie Dideriksen and Amy Pieters (Netherlands); and Christine Majerus (Luxembourg).
Stage winner in Worcester last year, Dideriksen and her team-mate Chantal Blaak are two of the five previous UCI road world champions taking the start in Britain’s most prestigious women’s cycling event.
Also featured among the 96 starters is Valcar Cylance Cycling’s Marta Cavalli, the current leader of the UCI Women’s WorldTour’s youth classification. In total, 22 different nationalities are represented; 13 of whom will have their reigning national road race champion in action.
All 15 of the world’s top teams from the start of season UCI Women’s WorldTour rankings accepted their invitations to the event, and will be joined by British team Drops to complete the 16-team field when the race gets underway in Beccles on Monday.
The 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour has expanded to six stages, covering 790 kilometres of racing and over 8,400 metres of ascent, with two tough stages in Mid and South Wales concluding the race on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 June.
The race will also include a hill-top finish for the first time, coming on Stage Four (Thursday 13 June) in Warwickshire on Thursday 13 June with riders tackling the 1.2 kilometre, 5% average gradient climb of Burton Dassett Country Park on three occasions during the stage.
Once more the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will offer prize money parity with the men’s Tour of Britain, thanks to award winning independent energy supplier OVO Energy, the title sponsors for a third edition of the race.
ITV4 will screen highlights from every stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, with programmes broadcasting at 20:00 in the UK and available on demand via the ITV Hub catch up service.
Cllr Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk District Council Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“I know a lot of our residents, as I am, will be excited to see such world class cyclists taking to the roads of Suffolk on 10 June. Whether you take part in the events across Mid Suffolk or watch the action from the side-lines, I hope you feel inspired by these amazing athletes to grab a bike and give cycling a go!”