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Women's Tour FAQS

First held in 2014, the OVO Energy Women’s Tour is the UK’s biggest and most prestigious women’s bike race. A founder member of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, the race attracts the world’s top cyclists - including Olympic and World Champions - to compete on British roads over six days each June.

The 2019 race will take place between Monday 10 and Saturday 15 June.

An incredible spectacle, one that mixes fast-paced action with a friendly atmosphere, not to mention over 100 of the world’s best riders thrown in for good measure! Expect to see fierce competition as the coveted OVO Energy Green Jersey is fought for across five days of racing.

Nothing! It’s absolutely free! From start to finish the route is completely free of charge for spectators wishing to see the world’s best cyclists in action. We do also offer a number of hospitality places at the Start and Finish of each stage for any fans wishing to enjoy a full VIP experience. Visit our HOSPITALITY page from April 2019 for more information.

No. As the race is only five days long, we endeavour to visit as much of Great Britain as we possibly can. This is also why we attempt to take the race into new towns and cities each year, while at the same time returning to certain areas that have previously welcomed the event enthusiastically.

The start time for each stage differs but traditionally they begin between 10 and 11am, and finish mid-afternoon (often between 2.30 and 3.30pm).

Exact start and approximate finish times for each stage will be listed on each day’s ETA list, located on the relevant stage page. To keep up-to-date with the riders as the race is in progress follow the OVO Energy Women’s Tour on Twitter.

Although there is no way of guaranteeing when the race will be passing a particular point we do produce a minute-by-minute ETA guide of where the riders are likely to be along each stage according to a slow, normal and fast pace. This is just an estimation and can be thrown off by extreme weather conditions or a crash, for example. However, they are often incredibly accurate. As the race approaches the ETAs will be published on each individual stage page.

There are a host of places along each day’s route that offer a great spot to watch the race from, as the cities, towns or villages the riders pass through get into the spirit of the event.

Particularly good vantage points are the SKODA King of the Mountains climbs and Eisberg Sprints, as crowds line the roads to see the riders race to the line to pick up invaluable points as they go in search of one of the race’s leaders’ jersey. All the SKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints are clearly marked on each stage map. Our partners will also distribute plenty of goodies and freebies at these locations!

Any spectator making their way to the start or finish of any stage will have the chance to get up close and personal with some of the biggest stars the sport has to offer – we’d recommend bringing a pen or two for autographs!

With the race continuing to go from strength to strength, 14 of the UCI’s top 15 Women’s WorldTour teams rode 2018.

The full rider line-up for the 2019 race will be announced a few weeks before the race begins, following which we will take an in-depth look at each squad on our dedicated TEAMS page. 

Absolutely! Visiting the start of any stage will present an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the biggest stars the sport has to offer. The paddock of team buses allows access that no other sport offers, enabling fans to collect autographs as the riders warm up. This experience gives supporters a great insight into the life of a professional athlete, in particular the level of preparation that goes into their sport. There’s no better way to cap a great day of sporting action!

Look out for race staff selling the official OVO Energy Women’s Tour souvenir programme at each stage start and finish. It contains full route information and a start list, as well as everything you need to know about Britain’s leading cycle event.

Our Tour Village can be found at the start and finish of each stage, allowing fans to meet all of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour’s sponsors and partners. In addition to interactive experiences, there will be plenty of goodies and freebies given out, as well as a host of great competitions offering some stunning prizes! It’s a great way of keeping entertained while you wait for the riders to start or arrive.

We offer full VIP packages with complimentary food and drink, free gifts from our event sponsors and partners, and the prime viewing spot to see the world’s best riders in the thick of the action. Visit our HOSPITALITY page for more information.

ITV4 is the official broadcaster for the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and will once again show the 2019 race with nightly, hour-long highlights shows.

There are plenty of ways to get involved in Britain’s premier women’s cycling race! We organise our own team of dedicated volunteers who are crucial to the smooth running of the Tour and become the eyes and ears of the race organisers. Find out more information and apply to volunteer here.

Alternatively, get in touch with your local council to speak to them directly about the range of events that will be going on around the race. To keep up-to-date with all the activity around the Tour sign up to our newsletter.

The 2017 OVO Energy Women’s Tour delivered in excess of £10 million of economic benefit to the UK economy, with almost 500,000 spectators watching the race in person, and many, many more via the television coverage around the world. Of the spectators at the roadside, 52% of people were ‘non-local’ to the race, showing how the event draws people to the areas hosting stages, who will then spend money in the local economy.

For a worldwide audience, the picture-postcard effect of the television coverage of the race helps promote the venues hosting the Tour, encouraging inbound tourism.

There will be a small number of road closures involving the surrounding areas of each start and finish location. These closures will be finalised well in advance of the race taking place and published on the spectator information pages for each stage, including how long the roads will be closed for.

In relation to the route between each stage start and finish we operate a ‘rolling road closure’ system. This is where the race route, and junctions with access roads onto the route, are closed while the race passes through. The length of closure of the rolling road block depends upon how dispersed the riders are. Typically, the lead motorcycle instigating the closure is 15 minutes ahead of the lead rider. The closure then remains in place until all riders and race cars have passed through. The simplest advice is to look at the route of the race and avoid that road for about one hour either side of the predicted time of the race passing through.

In order to safely deliver a world-class sporting event, we must secure the route and make sure parked vehicles are kept to a minimum. This protects the riders and spectators alike, and will involve road closures and parking restrictions in affected areas.

Road closures are necessary to install equipment such as the finish gantry, protective barriers, deploy stewards and volunteer marshals along the route and to allow for some minor highway works to be carried out – all crucial for the race to take place.

First, it would be fantastic to see you out supporting the race – after all, how many sporting events of this stature and importance go past your front door? Second, please help us make the Tour as safe as possible for the riders by avoiding parking along the course. Should you have anything of note relating to one of our stages that you wish to inform us of, please visit our CONTACT US page.

Planning for the events involves the Police, Fire, Rescue and Ambulance Services and other critical services. Any situation to be dealt with quickly and safely; emergencies will be treated in the usual way, and the safety of residents and visitors will be dealt with as a priority.

Because of the large footfall at start and finish locations, we do our utmost to ensure that local businesses can continue trading and capitalise on the interest in the race. In particular, those business who proactively welcome the race’s visit to their local area experience the best trade.

Our friends at British Cycling can help OVO Energy Women’s Tour spectators get into cycling, be it racing, commuting or riding purely for leisure. For more information visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/getinvolved.

British Cycling’s Let’s Ride is a great way of finding a local ride that suits your ability, confidence and fitness level. Find out more by visiting www.letsride.co.uk

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Beccles

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Stowmarket
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157.6km
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South Oxfordshire

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Blenheim Palace
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