Stoke-on-Trent will host the penultimate stage of this year’s Aviva Women’s Tour on Saturday 18 June, with Stage Four from Nottingham finishing in the city centre.

It will be the first visit for the Aviva Women’s Tour to the city, which has European City of Sport status in 2016.

Stoke-on-Trent has hosted the men’s Tour of Britain on seven occasions since 2008, but this will mark the first occasion that the world’s top women’s riders have raced in the city, with the likes of World Champion Lizzie Armitstead and reigning Aviva Women’s Tour Champion Lisa Brennauer, expected to be among the 96-rider field.

Stage Four will begin in Nottingham and head through Derbyshire before crossing into Staffordshire at Burton upon Trent.  The route will then head via Abbots Bromley and Uttoxeter into the Staffordshire Moorlands, taking in a series of climbs in and around Cheadle before the finish in Stoke-on-Trent city centre.

Taking place over five days, the 2016 edition of the race will be a part of the new UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar, currently one of just four multi-day stage races on the season long programme of races for the world’s top riders and teams.  Highlights of each stage will be shown on ITV4 every evening during the race.

Commenting on the announcement, Aviva Women’s Tour Race Director Mick Bennett said;

“Stage Four will connect two cities which both have a rich cycling heritage and have never before hosted the Aviva Women’s Tour.  Nottingham has become a centre hosting major women’s sporting events, making it a logical choice to host the Aviva Women’s Tour, while Stoke-on-Trent this year celebrates being the UK’s European City of Sport, with the stage finish being one of their major events for the year.

“While the opening half of this stage hugs the Derwent and Trent Valley’s, the latter half takes in the climbs of the Staffordshire Moorlands, which have time-and-time again proved a stern test in stages of the men’s Tour of Britain.”

Commenting on the route announcement, reigning World Road Race Champion Lizzie Armitstead of the Boels Dolmans team said; 

“It’s fantastic news that the Aviva Women’s Tour will continue in 2016. As a British rider it’s a privilege to be able to compete on home roads, the British public have really taken to cycling and you can see that when the race goes through different towns the community really gets behind it. 

“I’m excited to see the growth in women’s cycling and I think the Women’s Tour has had a really positive impact on that change.”

Reigning Aviva Women’s Tour champion Lisa Brennauer of the Canyon SRAM team said;

“I’m looking forward to coming back to the Aviva Women’s Tour 2016. The race last year was outstandingly well organised and the amount of people that came to watch and cheer for us was breath-taking. Including some new routes with more climbs and longer stages than before, the tour offers new opportunities and again huge possibilities for thrilling racing. I can’t wait to see all of you again.”

Further news about the detailed route of Stages Four, including the locations of Strava Queen of the Mountains climbs and the Chain Reaction Cycles Sprints, along with timings will be announced in the coming weeks along with the teams spectators can look forward to seeing in action at the Aviva Women’s Tour.