An array of international sports stars are set to roll out across the roads of Derbyshire as the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour cycle race comes to the region.
The five-day world tour road race from June 15 to June 19 includes a day-long 109.6km stage 3 on Friday, June 17, from Ashbourne to Chesterfield including the Peak District National Park, Buxton and Matlock.
It will start in Southwold, Suffolk, and finishes in Kettering where the overall yellow jersey winner will be crowned.
Lindsay Forster, Marketing Director at Aviva, said: “The 2016 route looks fantastic and will definitely provide a real test to the teams and riders taking part this year.
“It’s great that the Aviva Women’s Tour will be reaching parts of the country that it has never visited before while also passing through some locations that have so openly embraced it in the past.
“This year’s race looks all set to be the best so far.”
Cyclists from the world’s top ten professional teams will head to Britain. Defending champion Lisa Brennauer will return to the Aviva Women’s Tour leading the CANYON//SRAM Racing team and donning the number one placard,
And number one ranked team Wiggle HIGH5 and UCI Women’s WorldTour leader Lizzie Armitstead’s Boels Dolmans team will be among the 16 teams during the first European stage race of the 2016 UCI Women’s WorldTour.
Among other high-profile teams will be Rabo Liv, who won the 2014 edition of the race with Marianne Vos, the Canyon SRAM team of defending champion Lisa Brennauer and a Great Britain national team preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
They will be joined by a third British team, the domestic Drops Cycling Team, who have been newly formed for 2016.
The field will comprise of 16 teams from 11 different countries and each team will field a six-rider team.
The 16 teams for the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour include:
Ale Cipollini Galassia (Italy); Astana Women’s Team (Kazakhstan); Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Netherlands); BTC City Ljubljana (Slovenia); Canyon SRAM Racing (Germany); Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling (Germany); Cylance Pro Cycling (USA); Drops Racing Team (Great Britain); Great Britain national team; Hitec Products (Norway); Orica AIS (Australia); Poitou – Charentes Futuroscope 86 (France); Rabo Liv Women’s Cycling Team (Netherlands); Team Liv Plantur (Netherlands); UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (USA); and Wiggle HIGH5 (Great Britain).
THE STARS TO WATCH
Eagle-eyed spectators will be able to spot the biggest names in international women’s cycling not least the current World Champion and top British rider Lizzie Armitstead.
Armitstead, 27, is an English professional world champion track and road racing cyclist is the reigning World, Commonwealth and National road race champion.
She rides for the Boels Dolmans team and hails from Otley.
Armitstead said: “As a British rider it’s a privilege to be able to compete on home roads. The British public have really taken to cycling and you can see that when the race goes through different towns the community really gets behind you.
“I’m excited to see the growth in women’s cycling and I think the World Tour has a really positive impact on that change.”
Defending Aviva Women’s Tour champion Lisa Brennauer will also be returning to the event and will be leading the CANYON//SRAM Racing team and donning the number one race number on her back.
Brennauer won a stage and the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey on her way to the overall Aviva Yellow Jersey in last year’s edition of the race.
The multiple World Champion has ridden in both editions of the Aviva Women’s Tour to date, and recently finished on the podium of the Energiewacht Tour in Holland, winning the Points Classification.
She said; “I’m looking forward to coming back to the UK for the Aviva Women’s Tour. It’s been thrilling racing in front of big crowds and an amazing atmosphere last year.
“When I think back of all the fans along the course, at the finish and the award ceremonies I’m still having goose bumps.
“The Aviva Women’s Tour quickly made her way to one of the biggest events in women’s cycling.”
Joining her in the CANYON//SRAM provisional line-up will be Northamptonshire’s Hannah Barnes, winner of the final stage in 2015 and both the Best British and Best Young Rider jerseys.
Hannah said; “I always love coming back home to race. You get a buzz being on roads you know and having friends and family there watching.
“I’m particularly excited about the final stage. Starting and finishing so close to home and on roads I know is special.”
Italian National Champion Elena Cecchini returns, having finished 10th overall in the first edition of the race in 2014, with former Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Tiffany Cromwell the fourth rider in the squad.
Completing the line-up will be multiple Belarussian champion Alena Amialiuski and Italian Barbara Guarischi, who finished second on the stage to Kettering in 2015, and won the Prudential RideLondon and Sparkassen Giro events in 2015.
Aviva Women’s Tour Race Director Mick Bennett said, “We look forward to welcoming Lisa Brennauer and her team back to the Aviva Women’s Tour in 2016 as a part of what is going to be a fantastic line-up for this year’s race.
“With Lisa, Hannah Barnes and the other riders in the squad, the CANYON//SRAM team have a very strong line-up for the Aviva Women’s Tour who we are sure will take the race to the other teams.”
Fans can look forward to highlights of each stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour on ITV4 each evening, with repeats the following daytime and all programme’s available on demand via the ITV Player.
TOP VIEWING SPOTS ACROSS DERBYSHIRE
Fans will be able to enjoy Stage 3 of the Aviva Women’s Tour from a range of fantastic roadside vantage points all for free across Derbyshire.
The Stage 3 109.6km race on Friday, June 17, will start in Ashbourne at 11am, and will be expected to hit Buxton, about 11.40am, Matlock about 12.48pm, and Chesterfield about 1.53pm.
Some of the best viewing spots include: Terrace Road, Buxton, for a points sprint at about 11.43am; Winster about 12.31pm for a Queen of the Mountains challenge; Bank Road, Matlock, about 12.52pm, for a Queen of the Mountains Challenge; and Market Place, Chesterfield, about 1.53pm, for the finish.
The overall Stage 3 route will go from Ashbourne, to East Strendale, Buxton, Chelmorton, Monyash, Youlgreave, Alport, Winster, Wensley, Cross Green, Darley Moor, Matlock, Ashover, Beeley, and Baslow heading along the A619, B6050 towards Chesterfield.
The race is expected to hit Chesterfield on the B6051 Newbold Road, and head on to the B6150 Loundsley Green Road, then on to Ashgate Way, Saltergate, Soresby Street, Rose Hill, Clarence Road, West bars and then Market Place in Chesterfield town centre.
Those keen to follow the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour throughout will be able to watch the race on ITV as it unfolds across the country at the following locations:
Stage One, Wednesday, June 15, Southwold to Norwich, 138.5km; Stage Two, Thursday, June 16, Atherstone to Stratford-upon-Avon, 140.6km; Stage Three, Friday, June 17, Ashbourne to Chesterfield, 109.6km; Stage Four, Saturday, June 18, Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent, 119.2km; and Stage Five, Sunday, June 19, Northampton to Kettering, 113.2km.
The Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent Stage 4 includes roads in and around the Peak District.
Created by SweetSpot Group in 2014, the Aviva Women’s Tour is the UK’s first ever international stage-race for women, bringing the world’s top riders to compete over five days in Great Britain.
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.