At 11am on Monday 6th June morning the 2022 Women’s Tour, the biggest all-female cycle race in the world, began at the Colchester Sports Park at Northern Gateway.
The Women’s Tour attracts Olympic and world champions, as well as the most elite British riders and stars of the future, so it was an honour for Colchester to be chosen to play host to the Grand Depart opening stage taking place between here when over 100 of the world’s best riders set off on the 88 mile ride to Bury St Edmunds.
The route brought the riders into our historic town centre, taking in landmarks including the Jumbo water tower, the Town Hall and the Natural History Museum before heading out to Layer-de-la-Haye and Abberton, before heading back through Old Heath and Greenstead then heading north towards Manningtree and over the River Stour.
Once over the boarder into Suffolk the route goes under the Orwell Bridge before passing through Bildeston twice as part of an anti-clockwise loop through Mid-Suffolk, then onwards to the finish line on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds via Lavenham.
Subsequent days see the riders racing through Gloucester before two stages in Wales. The latter including an elevation gain of 2065 metres of any stage in this year’s race owing to the summit finish at the top of Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons.