Kenilworth cycling fans in luck as first ever Women's Tour time trial comes to Warwickshire
By James Smith
2nd Nov 2021 | Cycling
Kenilworth cycling fans are in luck as the Women's Tour will have its first ever individual time trial stage this year, hosted in the Warwickshire this Autumn
This October Atherstone in North Warwickshire will be the site of a 10-mile time trial on stage three of the week-long race.
Atherstone will host the time trial's start and finish on Wednesday 6 October, marking a record fourth time that the Women's Tour will have visited the town.
This stage is set to be the first individual time trial held after the UCI World Championships in Flanders, Belgium, meaning British fans could get to see the newly-crowned world champion tackle the route – 16 km/10 miles in recognition of the UK's rich time trial heritage – in the legendary rainbow jersey.
Warwickshire previously made Women's Tour history when it hosted the race's first uphill finish – held at Burton Dassett Country Park and won by Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM) – in 2019.
Annemiek van Vleuten, Movistar Team rider and two-time world time trial champion, said: "This news makes me really happy.
"Time trialling is an important part of cycling – it is a Olympic discipline – but we don't have many opportunities to ride them, so I'm really excited that the Women's Tour has added one.
"This type of stage is good for me – but it's also good for the future of cycling: younger athletes can learn so much by doing them.
"The Women's Tour is such a great event – I still get goosebumps when I think about how many schoolchildren line the side of the roads. I hope that this is the case once again in October."
Councillor David Wright, Leader of North Warwickshire Borough Council, said: "We are delighted to welcome the Women's Tour back to North Warwickshire and we are particularly pleased that Atherstone has been selected to host the first-ever Women's Tour time trial.
"We will need to review the health guidelines at the time of the event but hope we will be able to generate the warm welcome that we have on previous occasions.
"The events create great excitement in North Warwickshire and will provide a fantastic boost to the local area as we seek to recover from the effects of the Covid outbreak."
The race will actually start on Monday, October 4 with the riders starting in Bicester and finishing in Banbury.
The 2021 Women's Tour will also visit Walsall for the first time on stage two (Tuesday 5 October), as the Black Country town becomes only the third venue – after Stoke-on-Trent and Chesterfield in 2017 – to host the start and finish of a road stage on the same day.
The race will culminate with two previously-announced stages in the East of England: Colchester to Clacton (stage five, Friday 8 October) and Haverhill to Felixstowe in Suffolk (stage six, Saturday 9 October).
Organisers and British Cycling intend that each stage of the Women's Tour will also be used to celebrate Britain's key workers and community heroes.
Each day will play host to a special ride giving us a chance to say Thank You and show our appreciation to our community heroes, offering them an unforgettable experience to ride ahead of the professionals at the race.
As it stands, the stages of the 2021 Women's Tour are as follows:
Stage one, Monday 4 OctoberStart: Bicester, Oxfordshire*
Finish: Banbury, Oxfordshire*
Stage two, Tuesday 5 OctoberStart/finish: Walsall* Stage three, Wednesday 6 October
Start/finish: Atherstone individual time trial, Warwickshire
Stage four, Thursday 7 OctoberStart/finish: TBC Stage five, Friday 8 October
Start: Colchester, Essex*Finish: Clacton, Essex Stage six, Saturday 9 October
Start: Haverhill, Suffolk*Finish: Felixstowe, Suffolk (*indicates new venue for the Women's Tour. Race dates subject to final confirmation from the UCI) Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent rescheduling of the race from its traditional June dates, the original planned venue for stage four is no longer able to host the race. Therefore SweetSpot are seeking a new partner(s) to fill the vacated slot on Thursday 7 October.