Friends Life Women’s Tour 2014

 

It’s rare that women have an international stage like this to race on, with the biggest stars present and with television coverage all over the world.  Could this be the start of a new age for women’s sport, one where women move towards real equality with men… OK, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but it should be a great race and if you want to follow it we’ve got some information to help you know what’s what.

 

Friends Life Women’s Tour 2014 Lucy Garner and Dani King

 

When is it?        

 

7-11 May 2014

 

What is the route?         

 

There are five stages covering 493.6 km

  • Stage 1: Oundle to Northampton                        92.4km
  • Stage 2: Hinckley to Bedford                            118.5km
  • Stage 3: Felixstowe to Clacton                            86.8km
  • Stage 4: Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City            87.8km
  • Stage 5: Harwich to Bury St Edmunds                 108.1km

 

Friends Life Women’s Tour 2014 Map

 

When is the Television coverage?          

 

Highlights will be screen on ITV every evening during the race from 9pm with Ned Boulting – it’ll sound just like the Tour de France!

 

Who’s racing?

 

16 teams will be competing, with each team fielding six riders.  Teams include 11 of the top UCI teams, plus national teams from the Netherlands, Switzerland and a home team from GB.  In addition there will be a UK domestic team riding for Matrix Fitness Vulpine. 

 

The current Olympic Champion and multiple World Champion, Marianne Vos will be riding alongside top British interest, Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armistead, who will be riding for her UCI team Boels Dolmans.  However, since 20 of the 96 riders taking part are British, there will be plenty for the home crowds to shout about. 

 

Riding for the British national team is two times Junior World Champion, Lucy Garner, who has been making an impact on the professional scene this season and she is joined by pursuit World Champion and world record holder, Katie Archibald.  They are supported by a team of mostly young development riders looking to gain experience in this level of racing.

 

Marianne Vos and Lizzie Armistead in action at the London Olympics

 

What’s all the fuss about?!

 

Five reasons to follow the Friends Life Women’s Tour:

  1. The Friends Life Women’s Tour is the UK’s only UCI ranked race for women and the country’s only international stage race for women. 
  2. It forms part of the season long calendar of around 100 elite UCI races, including one day races and stage races, that take place around the world.
  3. 11 of the world’s top 13 teams will take part, including the three women who were on the podium in the World Championships last year.
  4. The race will be shown on television around the world and…
  5. Every stage town is organising a sports festival aimed at encouraging women to engage in sport and cycling in particular!

 

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