World Road Race Champion Lizzie Armitstead of the Boels Dolmans team and multiple World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos of the Rabo Liv team head the 96-rider provisional line-up for the Aviva Women’s Tour, which begins on Wednesday 15 June.
The duo join the likes of defending champion Lisa Brennauer of the CANYON//SRAM team, world number one Emma Johansson of Wiggle HIGH5 and top sprinter Kirsten Wild, with 15 of the world’s top 20 riders in the UCI rankings down to start.
Armitstead is due to be joined in the Boels Dolmans line-up by former stage winner Christine Majerus and compatriot Nikki Harris, for whom Stage Four goes through her home village of Draycott in Derbyshire.
Vos’ Rabo Liv line-up is currently scheduled to include Dutch National Champion Lucinda Brand and Anna van der Breggen, who was the Silver medallist behind Armitstead in last year’s World Road Race Championships.
The provisional rider list includes 14 current National Road Race Champions from around the world, including the champions of Australia (Amanda Spratt), Italy (Elena Cecchini) and Belgium (Jolien D’Hoore).
Riders from 22 different countries make up the provisional start list, with Great Britain and the Netherlands being the most dominant nations, with 19 and 18 riders respectively.
The list includes both former winners of the Aviva Women’s Tour in Brennauer (2015) and Vos (2014) and six riders who have won stages in the race.
The youngest rider is due to be Great Britain’s Grace Garner, who makes her debut in the race and will turn 19 on the final day of the Aviva Women’s Tour in Northamptonshire. Garner was due to be joined in the race by her elder sister Lucy, although the Wiggle HIGH5 rider is now expected to miss the Aviva Women’s Tour with broken ribs sustained at the weekend.
One other pair of sisters are scheduled to ride, with 2015’s Best Young Rider and final stage winner Hannah Barnes of the CANYON//SRAM team being joined by younger sister Alice, who makes her debut in the race with the Drops Cycling Team.
The final line-up of riders will be confirmed on the afternoon of Tuesday 14 June ahead of Stage One the following day from Southwold to Norwich.
Highlights of the Aviva Women’s Tour will be shown each evening on ITV4 with a repeat the following morning on the same channel. The highlights will also be available on demand for 30-days via the ITV Hub catch-up service.
The Aviva Women’s Tour begins in Southwold, Suffolk on Wednesday 15 June, finishing five stages later in Kettering on Sunday 19 June.
Amateur cyclists can also ride part of the Aviva Women’s Tour route this year in the Tour Ride Northamptonshire, the official sportive of the Aviva Women’s Tour. Taking place one month after the final stage, on Sunday 17 July, 40 and 80-mile routes starting and finishing from Delapre Abbey in Northampton will take place using sections of the Stage Five route, while there is also a fun, off-road 10-mile route for families. To sign-up head to www.tourride.co.uk
The Aviva Women’s Tour
SweetSpot are an event organiser and sports marketing company behind the organisation of the Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycle race and the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event, and the creation of the unique Tour Series town and city centre televised races.
The two editions to date, won by Marianne Vos in 2014 and Lisa Brennauer in 2015, have seen hundreds of thousands of spectators turn out at the roadside with many more around the UK watching the ITV4 highlights every evening.
The third edition of the Aviva Women’s Tour will run from Wednesday 15 to Sunday 19 June 2016.
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