Full stage routes for this year’s Women’s Tour have today been released, revealing a race that looks set to go down to the wire.

The six-day event (Monday 4 – Saturday 9 October) will feature its first-ever individual time trial stage in North Warwickshire, while seven of the host venues are new to the race.

Four of the Women’s Tour’s six editions to date have been decided by 11 seconds or fewer; Britain’s Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) won the most recent race – 2019 – by just two seconds over Polish rider Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM). A similarly close GC battle is anticipated in 2021.

Stage one: Bicester to Banbury

Monday 4 October

Women's Tour 2021 stage one route

Oxfordshire will host the Grand Départ on Monday 4 October, with a spectator-friendly stage between Bicester and Banbury. The 147.6-kilometre route once again covers a large section of the county, heading as far south to Culham and the banks of the River Thames, before visiting Abingdon and Deddington on its journey north towards the finish in Banbury. The stage’s three SKODA Queen of the Mountains climbs all fall within the final 60 kilometres, the last of which at Sibford will be tackled twice as part of a 29.4-kilometre finishing circuit.

Click here for explore stage one.

Stage two: Walsall

Tuesday 5 October

Women's Tour 2021 stage two route

The Women’s Tour’s continued desire to innovate is evident on stage two, a kermesse around Walsall and its surrounding areas. Action aplenty is guaranteed on the 10-kilometre clockwise circuit around Hayhead Woods, Barr Beacon nature reserve and Pool Green that will be tackled 10 times. The circuit will include three intermediate sprints at Barr Common (on laps four, six and eight) as well as offering points towards the ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains competition atop the Barr Beacon climb (1.2km long, maximum gradient of 5.7%) on laps five, seven and nine. A thrilling run in to the finish line in Walsall town centre is guaranteed, as the top of the climb on lap 10 comes just 6.5 largely downhill kilometres from the finish. In total the stage measures 103 kilometres (64 miles).

Click here for explore stage two.

Stage three: Atherstone individual time trial

Wednesday 6 October

Women's Tour 2021 stage three route

History will be made when Atherstone hosts the first individual time trial in race history on stage three (Wednesday 6 October). Having welcomed three stage starts in Women’s Tour history, this will also mark the first time the North Warwickshire town will host a finish. The out-and-back route has been carefully designed to measure 16 kilometres / 10 miles, a nod to Britain’s rich history of time trialling over that distance. The anti-clockwise loop passes through Bentley, Birchley Heath, Mancetter before finishing in the heart of Atherstone.

Click here for explore stage three.

Stage four: Shoeburyness to Southend-on-Sea

Thursday 7 October

Women's Tour 2021 stage four route

Three days of racing in the east of England to end this year’s race begin with the Shoeburyness to Southend-on-Sea stage (117.5 kilometres) on Thursday 7 October. Inspired by racing on the flatlands of Belgium and the Netherlands, riders will have to be alert to crosswinds and changes in direction as the route heads through Rochford, South Woodham Ferrers, Burnham-on-Crouch (sprint one), Bradwell-on-Sea, Hazeleigh and Rawreth. The day’s sole SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb at Hambro Hill (4.9 kilometres, maximum gradient of 12.8%) near Rayleigh tops out with just 12.7 kilometres remaining and will likely be the instigator for a fast and frantic run-in to the finish line along the seafront in the Westcliff-on-Sea area of Southend.

Click here for explore stage four.


Stage five: Colchester to Clacton

Friday 8 October

Women's Tour 2021 stage five route

Stage five starts at Colchester’s Northern Gateway Sports Park, the stunning new leisure facility that is already inspiring local residents to live a more active lifestyle. Riders will complete a lap of the venue’s closed road cycle circuit before heading into Colchester’s historic city centre. Another spectator-friendly stage, the peloton will pass through the finish line on Clacton seafront after just 32 kilometres before completing a 63.5-kilometre loop via Holland-on-Sea, Thorpe-le-Soken and Manningtree. The Women’s Tour’s two previous stage finishes in Clacton both culminated in bunch sprints, won by Marianne Vos (2014) and Jolien D’hoore (2015). At 95.5 kilometres, this is the shortest road stage of the 2021 race.

Click here for explore stage five.

Stage six: Haverhill to Felixstowe

Saturday 9 October

Women's Tour stage six route map

This year’s Women’s Tour champion will be crowned in Suffolk following a day of racing between Haverhill and Felixstowe (155 kilometres). A characteristic scenic route through the county will take the peloton past the Melford Hall stately home and through Sudbury before passing along the runaway at Wattisham Flying Station. The route also includes Stowmarket, Wickham Market and Woodbridge, all of which have featured in historic Women’s Tour stages in the county, before heading south towards the finish line adjacent to the beach in Felixstowe.

Click here for explore stage six.

In quotes

Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said: “We’re all set for what promises to be another memorable edition of the Women’s Tour! From our first-ever individual time trial in Warwickshire, an innovative stage in Walsall, potential for crosswinds en route to the finishes in Southend and Clacton, plus the bonus seconds that line the route from Oxfordshire to Suffolk, there are plenty of opportunities for the race to come alive!”

About the 2021 Women’s Tour

Twelve of the world’s top 15 teams will be in action at this year’s Women’s Tour (Monday 4 – Saturday 9 October), the UK’s most prestigious women’s cycle race. Among those competing are SD Worx, the world’s number one team, and the squads of four of the race’s previous overall winners: Trek-Segafredo (Lizzie Deignan, 2019 champion), Team DSM (Coryn Rivera, 2018 champion), Canyon SRAM Racing (Kasia Niewiadoma, 2017 champion) and Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling (Lisa Brennauer, 2015 winner). Click here for more information.

Further details of the 2021 Women’s Tour – including stage timetables and competing riders – will be announced shortly.

The Women’s Tour continues to look for a headline sponsor for 2021 and beyond. With cycling enjoying a boom in the UK, and hundreds of thousands of new and returning cyclists taking to two wheels, partnership opportunities for brands looking to target a healthy national audience and to be associated with the world’s leading women’s professional cycling race are available at all levels. For more information visit sweetspotgroup.co.uk/sponsorship-opportunities.