Picture by Zac Williams/SWpix.com- 11/06/2022 - Cycling - The Women's Tour 2022 Stage 6 - Chipping Norton to Oxford - Wales -

Tour of Britain Women Stages announced

The hosts of the 2024 Tour of Britain Women stages have been announced, as preparations for the inaugural edition of the race progress ahead of the Grand Départ in Welshpool on Thursday 6 June. 

The Tour of Britain Women will see the world’s top female riders and teams go head-to-head across four tough stages of racing, in what will be the first major international stage race delivered by British Cycling Events.  

Hundreds of thousands of fans will line the streets for what is the nation’s biggest free-to-attend sporting event, as the country gears up for another thrilling summer of cycling. 

The route 

This year’s race will feature a number of familiar start and finish locations which have successfully hosted major international events in recent years. 

The race will begin in Welshpool, situated in the heart of mid-Wales. Welshpool hosted the thrilling finish of stage four of the 2022 Women’s Tour, where Australia’s Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) sprinted to victory. The stage will see riders head north to the picturesque seaside town of Llandudno, in what will be a challenging start to the race.  

Stage two will see riders stay in Wales for a start and finish in Wrexham, which also featured in the 2022 Women’s Tour. The rolling route will take in a series of challenging climbs in the dramatic Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Wales.

The caravan then will cross the Welsh border to the north-west of England, where Warrington will host both the start and finish of stage three on Saturday, with a flatter route that will favour the sprinters. Warrington welcomed the men’s Tour of Britain in 2021, where Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) claimed a memorable stage win. 

The race will then conclude in Greater Manchester, as part of the city region’s European Capital of Cycling celebrations. Riders will depart from the National Cycling Centre, the home of British Cycling, before taking in some of the region’s challenging climbs before they reach the finish line in Leigh, where the race winner will be crowned. 

Full routes for each of the stages, along with the teams and riders competing, will be announced in the coming weeks.  

“A monumental effort”

The race route has been designed and agreed in just 10 weeks, when we launched our new vision for major cycling events in Britain, thanks to the hard work and support of an experienced team of event staff. We’d also like to extend our gratitude to Welsh Government, Conwy County Borough Council, Powys County Council, Wrexham County Borough Council, Warrington Borough Council, Manchester Active and others who have demonstrated such enthusiastic support for the race.

Jon Dutton OBE, CEO of British Cycling, said: “Today is another important milestone in our journey and reflective of the enormous goodwill and support which major road cycling events continue to enjoy. 

“Our primary focus has been to deliver a safe and competitive race in 2024, and while there is still a great deal of work to do, we remain every bit as determined to harness the race’s spotlight to make a real impact in the communities which it touches. We know that it is a vision which resonates strongly in the positive conversations we’ve been having with prospective commercial partners and hosts which continues to be extremely encouraging.”

Rod Ellingworth, who was announced as Tour of Britain Race Director in March this year, said: “It’s been a monumental effort by the whole team over the past 10 weeks to confirm the stages for this year’s Tour of Britain Women. The race will take in four competitive and challenging routes, some challenging climbing in Wales and what I’m sure will be brilliant crowds on the roadside throughout.”

Lizzie Deignan, former road world champion and Olympic silver medallist, said: “It’s always special to race in Britain, and I’m so pleased to have two top level stage races to look forward to on home soil as I ramp up my preparations for a busy summer ahead.   

“There’s clearly so much support and fondness for the race, both at home and further afield. The four stage hosts deserve credit for their commitment to women’s racing and for helping to make the race happen, and I’m sure that together we can put on a brilliant show in June.” 

Earlier this month, British Cycling announced that the Tour of Britain Men would be delivered over six days in 2024, with an ambition to bring future parity to the two national tours, following the alignment of the event names in 2024.

Positive conversations continue with a number of commercial partners along with towns and cities interested in hosting future stages of both the men’s and women’s events.

“An opportunity to showcase the best of our area” 

Jeremy Miles, Welsh Government Economy Secretary, said: “Wales and cycling go hand in hand, with our spectacular scenery and routes providing elite and recreational cyclists alike with both challenge and enjoyment. 
 
“This is a welcome return to Wales for this fantastic event and provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Welshpool, Llandudno, Wrexham and the surrounding area to an ever-growing cycling audience. We are very pleased to have been able to support the event and look forward to providing a warm ‘Croeso’ to all in June.” 

Councillor Nigel Williams, Lead member for Economy and Regeneration, Wrexham, said: “Once again the sporting spotlight will be on Wrexham as we continue to be a welcoming location for national events. 

“After the success of last year’s Tour of Britain we have another opportunity to showcase the best of our area and this will bring huge benefits to the local economy. 

“I know many enthusiasts will be looking forward to the event and to seeing the elite of British cycling as they race through the area. It will give many within the city centre and surrounding areas the opportunity to give the cyclists a warm Welsh welcome to Wrexham as they pass through.” 

Professor Steven Broomhead MBE, Warrington Borough Council Chief Executive, said: “Following the success of the men’s Tour of Britain stage finish in 2011, it’s great news that Warrington will host the pinnacle of the sport again, this time with both a start and finish for the Tour of Britain Women.  

“We’re pleased to be playing our part in celebrating some of the world’s greatest cyclists, bringing elite sport back to Warrington once again. It will be a fantastic showcase that will equally generate societal, health and wellbeing benefits.” 

Eamonn O’Rourke, CEO of Manchester Active, said: “In the year Manchester was successful in becoming the very first European Capital of Cycling, we are delighted to be announced as a host stage for the 2024 Tour of Britain Women.  

“Hosting such a prestigious event cements Manchester’s commitment to supporting women’s sport at all levels, and our dedication to encourage more women and girls to participate in sport and physical activity. Having hosted the Men’s Tour of Britain back in 2019 and more recently, the Grand Depart in 2023, it is a real honour to welcome and support the women’s stage to Manchester. 

“We’re also thrilled that the route will commence from the National Cycling Centre, our world-famous ‘medal factory’ and home of British Cycling, providing a spectacular backdrop for the start of this stage – a unique opportunity only available when hosting cycling events in Manchester.” 

Tour of Britain Women 2024: 

Stage 1 – Thursday 6 June 2024: Welshpool to Llandudno  

Stage 2 – Friday 7 June 2024: Wrexham  

Stage 3 – Saturday 8 June 2024: Warrington  

Stage 4 – Sunday 9 June 2024: Greater Manchester  

Header image: credit: Zac Williams SWPix

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