World Road Race Champion Lizzie Armitstead of the Boels Dolmans team and multiple World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos of the Rabo Liv team head the 96-rider provisional line-up for the Aviva Women’s Tour.
The duo are expected to join the likes of defending champion Lisa Brennauer of the CANYON//SRAM team, world number one Emma Johansson of Wiggle HIGH5 and top sprinter Kirsten Wild, with 15 of the world’s top 20 riders in the UCI cycle rankings down to start.
Riders from the world’s top pro teams will head to Britain to line-up for the five-day road race which includes a 109.6km Stage 3 on Friday, June 17, from Ashbourne to Chesterfield including Buxton and Matlock. The Ashbourne to Chesterfield Stage 3 and the Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent 119.2km Stage 4 both include roads in and around the Peak District.
The overall race starts in Suffolk, on June 15, and finishes in Kettering on June 19.
Armitstead, of Otley, West Yorkshire, is also due to be joined in the Boels Dolmans line-up by former stage winner Christine Majerus and compatriot Nikki Harris, for whom Stage 4 goes through her home village of Draycott in Derbyshire.
Vos’ Rabo Liv line-up is currently scheduled to include Dutch National Champion Lucinda Brand and Anna van der Breggen, who was the Silver medallist behind Armitstead in last year’s World Road Race Championships.
The provisional rider list includes 14 current National Road Race Champions from around the world, including the champions of Australia (Amanda Spratt), Italy (Elena Cecchini) and Belgium (Jolien D’Hoore).
Riders from 22 different countries make up the provisional start list, with Great Britain and the Netherlands being the most dominant nations, with 19 and 18 riders respectively.
The list includes both former winners of the Aviva Women’s Tour in Brennauer (2015) and Vos (2014) and six riders who have won stages in the race.
The youngest rider is due to be Great Britain’s Grace Garner, who makes her debut in the race and will turn 19 on the final day of the Aviva Women’s Tour in Northamptonshire. Garner was due to be joined in the race by her elder sister Lucy, although the Wiggle HIGH5 rider is now expected to miss the Aviva Women’s Tour with broken ribs sustained at the weekend.
One other pair of sisters are scheduled to ride, with 2015’s Best Young Rider and final stage winner Hannah Barnes of the CANYON//SRAM team being joined by younger sister Alice, who makes her debut in the race with the Drops Cycling Team.
The final line-up of riders will be confirmed on the afternoon of Tuesday 14 June ahead of Stage One the following day from Southwold to Norwich.
The Aviva Women’s Tour begins in Southwold, Suffolk on Wednesday 15 June, finishing five stages later in Kettering on Sunday 19 June.
Amateur cyclists can also ride part of the Aviva Women’s Tour route this year in the Tour Ride Northamptonshire, the official sportive of the Aviva Women’s Tour. Taking place one month after the final stage, on Sunday 17 July, 40 and 80-mile routes starting and finishing from Delapre Abbey in Northampton will take place using sections of the Stage Five route, while there is also a fun, off-road 10- mile route for families. To sign-up head to www.tourride.co.uk.
The race breaks down as below:
Stage 1, Wednesday, June 15 Southwold to Norwich, 138.5km
Stage 2, Thursday, June 16, Atherstone to Stratford-upon-Avon, 140.6km
Stage 3, Friday, June 17, Ashbourne to Chesterfield, 109.6km
Stage 4, Saturday, June 18, Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent, 119.2km
Stage 5, Sunday, June 19, Northampton to Kettering, 113.2km