The route for this year’s Women’s Tour Grand Départ, between Colchester and Bury St Edmunds, has today been announced.
Stage one of the UK’s leading women’s cycle race, set to take place on Monday 6 June, will pass through Manningtree, Capel St Mary, Stowmarket, Needham Market, and Lavenham.
To coincide with the route announcement, the East of England Co-op has announced it is the Principal Colchester Stage One sponsor.
Lynn Warner, East of England Co-op’s Engagement Manager, commented: “We’re so pleased to be able to support this great sporting occasion once again, particularly as Colchester is hosting the Grand Depart.
“Many of our stores are positioned along the Stage 1 route to Bury St Edmunds, so we’re looking forward to cheering on the cyclists. Physical exercise, such as cycling, is a great way to improve our mental health and wellbeing, and hopefully people will be inspired to get on their bikes too.”
Over 100 of the world’s best riders will set off from the Colchester Sports Park at Northern Gateway, the town’s acclaimed new multi-sport facility at junction 28 of the A12 that features a closed road cycle circuit. The route takes in many of Colchester’s historic town centre landmarks – including the Jumbo Water Tower, Town Hall, Natural History Museum and Firstsite arts venue – in the opening kilometers.
The route (142 kilometers / 88.2 miles) will then head south from Colchester to Layer-de-la-Haye, Abberton, and back through Old Heath and Greenstead before heading towards Manningtree and over the River Stour. Once into Suffolk riders will travel under the Orwell Bridge before heading northwest through the Babergh District. Bildeston will be raced through twice as part of an anti-clockwise loop through Mid-Suffolk that takes in the 2019 stage finish location of Stowmarket. The finish line on Angel Hill, in Bury St Edmunds, will be approached from the south via Lavenham.
Cllr Sue Lissimore, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Deputy Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “It’s great news that this year’s international event will see over 22 miles of racing through our town and villages. It gives residents and visitors to the region even more opportunities to come out and cheer on the riders and is such an exciting way to showcase our beautiful borough on the world’s stage.”
The Women’s Tour will feature all 14 of the top division UCI Women’s World Teams this year with 18 teams and 108 riders competing in the race, the biggest field in the eight-year history of the Women’s Tour.
Subsequent days of the race will include a first visit to Gloucester (stage three, Wednesday 8 June), with a route through the Forest of Dean between Tewkesbury and Gloucestershire, before two stages in Wales (stages four and five, Thursday 9 and Friday 10 June). The latter features the most elevation gain of any stage in this year’s race (2,065m), in part owing to the summit finish atop Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons.
The Women’s Tour will conclude in Oxfordshire on Saturday 11 June with a stage between picturesque Chipping Norton, in the Cotswolds, and the heart of historic Oxford.
While spectators can watch all the action by the roadside for free, highlights of this year’s race will once again be shown on ITV4 in the UK, and around the world via Eurosport and GCN.
To discover the stage route and plan a visit to the Women’s Tour – an interactive map and downloadable stage timetable is available from: The Women’s Tour | Stage One (womenstour.co.uk)
For more information visit: Women’s Tour 2022 · Colchester Borough Council