It has been announced that the Oxfordshire town of Bicester will host the start of the Women’s Tour in 2020.
Local rider Katie Scott joined community cycling groups and local schoolchildren at an unveiling ceremony in Bicester’s Garth Park, which marked both the stage launch and confirmation that her CAMS-Tifosi team have been invited to compete in the event for the first time.
The 2020 Women’s Tour will begin in the town’s Market Square, which comprises part of its historic town trail.
This is the second year that Oxfordshire will host The Women’s Tour. Race organiser SweetSpot are working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council and local district councils to deliver the event as part of a three-year commitment which began in 2019. After leaving Bicester, the riders will weave their way through towns, villages and rural areas, inspiring local schools to organise themed sport and fitness lessons. Details of the finish host venue – also in Oxfordshire – are to be announced.
Britain’s CAMS-Tifosi squad will mark their inaugural season as an international team by taking part in the race. CAMS-Tifosi’s progression to achieving Continental Team status with the UCI (cycling’s governing body) for 2020 follows last season’s dominant domestic campaign. Rebecca Durrell, Gabby Shaw and the now-departed Anna Henderson finished first, second and third in the British Circuit Race Championships in July, two months after the team claimed the overall victory in the prestigious Tour Series for the first time. The team’s 2020 line-up has been bolstered by the likes of Leicestershire sprinter Grace Garner (22), two-time Women’s Tour finisher Natalie Grinczer (26), and Megan Barker (22), who represented Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. All 11 riders on the team’s roster for the season are British.
Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, councillor Ian Hudspeth, said: “We’re delighted to welcome The Women’s Tour back to Oxfordshire, inspiring more people to get their bikes out of the shed. The benefits of cycling for personal health cannot be over stated, along with reducing congestion on our roads. Oxfordshire is the perfect backdrop for this race and we look forward to showing off the county at its best.”
Women’s Tour race director, Mick Bennett, said: “Oxfordshire is a historic and worldfamous county; therefore, I am delighted that the Tour is returning for a second year. I’m confident we’ll leave our world-class field with a truly unforgettable memory of the county’s beauty and diversity, helping to reinforce the prestige of the event. “We’re delighted to welcome CAMS-Tifosi to the Women’s Tour for the first time in 2020, with their invitation celebrating their progression and development as a team over recent seasons. I’m excited to see what their all-British line-up will achieve in what promises to be another action-packed edition of the UK’s leading women’s cycle race.”
CAMS-Tifosi team manager Simon Howes said: “Inclusion in the Women’s Tour is a huge achievement for everyone involved in the team, especially in our first year of being a UCIregistered team. As an all-British team it’ll be a terrific opportunity for us to showcase our riders’ potential and for the British public to show their support for us. Being on the start line will be a proud moment for racers, support staff and sponsors.”
The 2020 Women’s Tour takes place from 8-13 June. Organised by SweetSpot, it is the UK’s only round of the UCI Women’sTour series in 2020. The event is currently without a title partner for 2020 and beyond following the conclusion of a three-year partnership with OVO Energy at the end of 2019. More details of the 2020 Women’s Tour route and competing teams will be unveiled in the coming weeks.