The third edition of the Aviva Women’s Tour gets underway on Wednesday 15 June from Southwold in Suffolk, and with the eyes of the women’s cycling world firmly on the UK’s first ever round of the UCI Women’s WorldTour many of the world’s leading riders and teams have been looking ahead to the race.

You can read quotes from some of the top names as they arrive in Britain and prepare for the leading race below and don't forget to check out the latest provisional rider list here.

Lisa Brennauer, CANYON//SRAM
Defending Aviva Women’s Tour champion
“I just love that there are so many people that came to watch and cheer for us last year. Including some new routes with more climbs and longer stages than before the tour offers new opportunities and again huge possibilities for thrilling racing.  It's so nice that all of the towns, communities and schools are involved so much in the tour. It creates a special atmosphere and every rider enjoys being here.

“I think that Stage Four will be one of the hardest. Because in this stage most of the climbs are towards the end of the stage. But importantly you've already had some long and hard stages in the tour. Stage Three is up and down all day and the peloton will be in different shape by Stage Four. Our team is looking forward to this race.”

Emma Johansson, Wiggle HIGH5 Pro Cycling
Current UCI World number one, winner of the first ever stage of the Women’s Tour in Northampton in 2014
“I’m always excited about the Aviva Women’s Tour! I loved it from the first moment and the crowds just makes it that little extra!”

“That the course is a bit changed and made harder might make it a totally different type of race than the last editions but we will have to wait and see.  Our team is very strong and we have a rider for all different types of courses and finals so I really look forward to this week of racing!”

Jolien D’Hoore, Wiggle HIGH5 Pro Cycling
Belgian National Champion, winner of Stage Two of the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour
“I’m looking forward to racing there once again.  I can’t compare it to last year… I can’t compare the course, and also myself! That’s the big difference, but I hope I can help the team.

“I heard that Aviva Women’s Tour is pretty hard this year, there’s a lot of climbing. We have good riders, so hopefully I can help them.”

Hannah Barnes, CANYON//SRAM
Final stage winner in 2015 and Best Young and Best British Rider winner 
“The last stage will be my favourite as it's close to a hometown stage for me! I know the roads of stage two and five really well because it's my old training area. It's going to be such a different race this year. Last year's final stage was the hardest and in my opinion it is easier than this year's stage two, three or four. In the second half of stage two there are like five climbs and the last one is not so far from the finish. I think there the GC will start to show. My goal for the tour is to help the team get the yellow jersey.”

Tiffany Cromwell, CANYON//SRAM
Former winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad one-day classic
“I think this year will be really interesting. I'm hoping that it's an aggressive race and the climbs are hard enough to make exciting racing but not allow negative tactics. I'm feeling good and I'm looking forward to doing something here. The roads know how to handle the bad weather so that won't be a problem.”

Gene Bates, Orica AIS
Director Sportif of the Orica AIS team
“Predominately we will be chasing stage wins.  That's what we are really after, I think the overall will be a bi-product of chasing those daily wins.

“We will go in with some clear and defined goals for everyone. Sarah Roy has been good lately in the sprints finishing on the podium a few times and we've got some good riders to assist her coming into the finishes, so that will be our priority for the first couple of days.

“The third stages looks like it will be the most difficult and potentially the set up for the overall classification.  We will look at things closely after this stage and decide if we will go down the GC path or just continue for the stages.

“I think it's great the race has really stepped up. This year it's part of the new Women's WorldTour series and it has turned into a proper tour with a mix of flatter stages, more challenging hillier stages and the length of the stages has increased, so it is definitely another step in the right direction.”

Hans Timmermans, Team Liv Plantur
Coach of Team Liv Plantur
“The Aviva Womens Tour is a well-organised race for female cyclists and during the past years the race has grown into one of the most popular events of the calendar. The route is quite challenging this year, with longer stages and a lot more climbing added to the course.

“We go there with a lot of ambition. Leah [Kirchmann] currently sits in the top 10 on the WorldTour and we want to keep it that way. We will bring a strong team to support her and aim for podium finishes. There are some stages that really suit her as she is one of the few sprinters who is able to be part of the select group in the finale of the hilly stages. There is also the possibility of achieving a good general classification with Leah because of the time bonuses at the finish line.”

Highlights of the Aviva Women’s Tour will be on ITV4 every evening with a repeat the following morning on the same channel.  The highlights will also be available on demand for 30-days via the ITV Hub catch-up service. Find out all the times here.

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