A star-studded field featuring Olympic, world and national medallists will be in action at next week’s AJ Bell Women’s Tour (Monday 4 – Saturday 9 October), the first edition of Britain’s most prestigious women’s cycle race to take place in over two years.

Race organisers SweetSpot have today unveiled the provisional start list for the six-day race which begins in Oxfordshire and culminates in Suffolk. Click here to view it.

The reigning road and time trial world champions – Elisa Balsamo (Valcar – Travel & Service) and Ellen van Dijk (Trek – Segafredo) respectively – will both compete, marking the first time this has happened since 2016.

Three of Balsamo’s predecessors as world champion are also set to be on the start line in Oxfordshire: Italian rider Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana), Dutchwoman Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx) and home favourite Lizzie Deignan.

Deignan (Trek – Segafredo) is the race’s defending champion from 2019; she is also the only rider in AJ Bell Women’s Tour history to win the event twice. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM Racing) and Amy Pieters (SD Worx), who completed the final podium two years ago, will also be in action.

The provisional start list also features Tokyo 2020 medalists Lisa Klein (Canyon SRAM Racing), Marlen Reusser (Alé BTC Ljubljana) and Megan Jastrab (Team DSM); former stage winners Hannah Barnes (Canyon SRAM Racing), Christine Majerus (SD Worx) and Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange); as well as Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek – Segafredo, 2018 ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains winner).

Three British teams will be in action at the race. Drops – Le Col s/b TEMPUR. will compete in their fifth edition of the race; their line-up features Joss Lowden, who is set to tackle the UCI Hour Record on Thursday. This year’s Tour Series winners CAMS – Basso Bikes and AWOL O’Shea will make their debuts in the event.

The AJ Bell Women’s Tour is sponsored by AJ Bell, one of the UK’s leading online investment platforms, helping people invest for the long term via ISAs, pensions and general investment accounts.  It has a rich history of supporting elite level sport including badminton, cricket, rugby, squash and triathlon, and recently sponsored the men’s AJ Bell Tour of Britain in September, won by Wout van Aert.

The final AJ Bell Women’s Tour start list will be confirmed on Sunday evening.