Yodel, the UK’s leading independent parcel carrier, today announces that its consumer door-to-door parcel service, YodelDirect, is sponsoring the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour.

A first for the UK cycling calendar, the event takes to the roads next month with YodelDirect as logistics partner and sponsor of the intermediate Sprints and Points Jersey. 

The partnership is in addition to YodelDirect’s long standing association with the Tour of Britain, Pearl Izumi Tour Series and Tour Ride sportives.

The Women’s Tour is Britain’s first ever UCI level stage-race for women and will see 96 of the world’s top female cyclists compete for the coveted jerseys, including World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos, British and UCI World Cup leader Lizzie Armistead, and reigning British Circuit Race Champion Hannah Barnes.

The Tour will begin on Wednesday 7th May in Oundle and finish on Sunday 11th May in Bury St Edmunds, following five tough stages across the East Midlands and East Anglia.

The Women’s Tour is a complex sporting event in terms of logistical challenges, with teams transporting thousands of tonnes of equipment across the country over the course of the five day race, providing excellent synergy with Yodel’s own business and expertise.

The carrier, which delivers 135 million parcels per year on behalf of the UK’s top retailers, including approximately 700,000 bicycles and cycle parts will provide a fleet of 15 vehicles to transport vital equipment and race infrastructure around the country.

You can check out the YodelDirect Points Jersey below.

Each road stage of The Women’s Tour features two intermediate YodelDirect Sprint sections. Points awarded to the top three riders at the intermediate Sprints, and the top ten at the stage finish go towards the YodelDirect Points classification. Often considered one of the most exciting parts of the race, riders break away and battle it out to be the first across the Sprint line, to claim points and also bonus seconds which are taken off their overall race time.

Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel, said: “We are very excited to be able to announce YodelDirect’s sponsorship of the Women’s Tour, which is a welcome and long overdue innovation in the UK cycling calendar.

“Over the past few years Yodel has developed a strong association with The Tour of Britain and we are delighted to be able to further strengthen our association with cycling. Like the event, speed and teamwork is crucial to ensure an efficient delivery service, making this partnership between YodelDirect and The Women’s Tour a winning combination.”

Spectators can catch the YodelDirect Sprints action at:

Wednesday 7 May – Stage 1
Oundle to Northampton. YodelDirect Sprints at Rushton and Wootton

Thursday 8 May – Stage 2
Hinckley to Bedford. YodelDirect Sprints at Lutterworth and Turvey

Friday 9 May – Stage 3
Felixstowe to Clacton. YodelDirect Sprints at Kesgrave and Thorpe le Soken

Saturday 10 May – Stage 4
Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City. YodelDirect Sprints at Baldock and Codicote

Sunday 11 May – Stage 5
Harwich to Bury St Edmunds. YodelDirect Sprints at Mistley and Long Melford 

You can find the Sprints on the stage maps, which can be found via each of the stage pages here.

To find out more visit yodeldirect.co.uk