The Women’s Tour, Britain’s biggest and longest running international women’s cycling stage race, will return to Bury St Edmunds this summer as the Suffolk town hosts the finish of the opening stage on Monday 6 June.
To coincide with International Women’s Day, event organisers SweetSpot have today revealed details of the 2022 race, which will begin at Colchester’s Northern Gateway Sports Park for an opening leg through Essex and Suffolk before culminating on Bury St Edmunds’ Angel Hill.
It will mark the cathedral town’s third appearance in race history, although it will be the first finish there since Marianne Vos won the finale of the 2014 edition.
The Suffolk stage will take place on Monday 6 June, which follows the four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
Cllr Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, Public Protection and Communities, said: “The Women’s Tour has become a staple of Suffolk’s Sporting calendar and we are proud to welcome the race back to Suffolk this year.
“Suffolk will play host to stage one of the race, finishing in Bury St Edmunds once again, as it did the first time the Women’s Tour came to Suffolk, back in 2014.
“The race always provides a great opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate all that our county has to offer, whilst inspiring people to become more physically active.”
Details of the route of the opening stage from Colchester to Bury St Edmunds, which will pass through Mid Suffolk, Babergh, and West Suffolk, will follow in due course.
Commenting on the announcement, Cllr Julie Flatman, cabinet member for communities at Mid Suffolk District Council said; “Suffolk is a special place for the Women’s Tour having been part of this national sporting event for many years. It’s always a crowd pleaser with our communities coming out in force to show their support.
“Cycling is great way to get active, whatever your level, and I hope our residents will be inspired to get out and about and explore more of our beautiful district.”
Cllr Derek Davis, cabinet member for communities at Babergh District Council added: “It’s fantastic that Suffolk will once again play host to the renowned Women’s Tour.
“National sporting events like these are a great way to showcase the history and beauty of our county, get people active, and remind us why we’re proud to call Babergh home. I’m excited to see the full route over coming weeks and where people can watch the race for themselves in our district.”
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council said; “We are delighted to welcome back the Women’s Tour to West Suffolk in June and are excited to be hosting the stage one finish in Bury St Edmunds. Major events such as these not only raise the profile of West Suffolk but help our local economy thrive. It will be a fantastic day for our residents, businesses and visitors alike.”
Cllr Jo Rayner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs for West Suffolk Council added; “This is a brilliant opportunity to showcase Bury St Edmunds and celebrate a key cycling event. We look forward to welcoming world class sportswomen who are at the top of their game and an inspiration to all. We hope the legacy of the Women’s Tour will encourage more people to look to cycling as a sport or leisure activity and to explore the local area.”
Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said: “Suffolk and Bury St Edmunds have a special place in Women’s Tour history so we’re thrilled that they will feature in this year’s opening stage, which, given the country-wide weekend of celebrations planned, will be the grandest Grand Départ we’ve ever had. We’re looking forward to taking the race into parts of Suffolk that we’ve not visited for many years as the route heads into the county from Colchester, before a long-awaited return to Bury St Edmunds for the stage finish, scene of an unforgettable victory for Marianne Vos in 2014.”
This year’s Women’s Tour will also include a return to Carmarthenshire for the toughest summit finish in race history to date, taking place on Black Mountain near Llangadog. Organisers expect all 17 teams with mandatory UCI Women’s WorldTour event invitations to be on the start line in Colchester, including the 14 UCI Women’s WorldTour teams. The final line up of teams for the race to be announced in the coming weeks.
With cycling enjoying a boom in the UK, and hundreds of thousands of new and returning cyclists taking to two wheels, there are a range of sponsorship opportunities available with the Women’s Tour in 2022.
Packages range from title partnerships of the event and sponsorship of the prestigious points and sprints jerseys, to being the brand forever known for funding the race’s first-ever live TV broadcast.
Visit sweetspotgroup.co.uk/partnerships/ for more.
[Photo credit: Mark Witter Photography | Caption: Representatives of West Suffolk Council, Abbeycroft Leisure, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, Vertas and Sweetspot.]