Delight as Colchester chosen to host prestigious cycling event

Belgian rider Jolien D’hoore wins stage two of the 2015 Women’s Tour in Clacton

Belgian rider Jolien D’hoore winning stage two of the 2015 Women’s Tour in Clacton in June 2015 - Credit: SweetSpot

Two Essex towns are hoping for a much-needed economic boost as they host the penultimate stage of a top cycling event when the Women’s Tour comes to town.

The world’s premier cyclists are set to go head-to-head in October as they race from the historic castle town of Colchester on October 8, showcasing the town’s new 76-acre Northern Gateway Sports Park to Clacton-on-Sea. 

A two-year agreement with race organisers SweetSpot means Colchester will also host the start of Grand Départ of next year’s race in June 2022.

Colchester Borough Council and its commercial arm, Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd, will work alongside SweetSpot to host and promote the event and help locals and businesses to feel a part of it.

The race will finish at the seaside resort of Clacton for the third time since 2014.

Marianne Vos, the Women’s Tour first-ever champion, won there seven years ago and Belgian Jolien D’hoore triumphed there in 2015, generating an estimated £1.3m for the local economy.

Colchester commercial services cabinet member Theresa Higgins said as a keen cyclist she was “delighted” the town had attracted such a high-profile global event. 

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Business portfolio cabinet member David King added: “The economic recovery of the borough is our priority, and so we welcome the good news that Colchester is to host a leg of the prestigious Women’s Tour. This spectacular event will attract many visitors to Colchester to watch the elite riders race through the town.”

Danielle Every, British Cycling’s cycling delivery director, said the Women’s Tour continued to go from strength to strength.

“The growth of the event plays a crucial role in our ongoing ambition to get more women and girls on bikes, and we’re sure that the riders on show later this year will help to inspire more girls to get in the saddle in Essex and beyond and maybe even get out on a local club or group ride or have a go at a competitive or challenge event,” she said.

“British Cycling remain concerned about the gender imbalances within cycling and are committed to do all we can to help promote women’s cycling and support female cyclists, coaches and volunteers whatever their aspirations across all disciplines.”

The Women’s Tour, which forms a part of the prestigious UCI Women’s WorldTour, will start in Oxfordshire at Bicester and finish with a stage from Haverhill to Felixstowe in Suffolk. Full details of the Colchester to Clacton stage and the 2021 route will be unveiled in the summer.