Colchester and Clacton to host penultimate stage of delayed Women's Tour

Marianne Vos (green jersey) won in Clacton in 2014. Credit: PA

The penultimate stage of this year's delayed Women’s cycling Tour will be held between Colchester and Clacton, the race organisers have announced.

It means the final two stages of the event will take place in East Anglia, with the final stage pencilled in for October 9 between Haverhill and Felixstowe.

The Colchester to Clacton leg will be held a day earlier on October 8.

It will be the first time that Colchester has staged the prestigious race and the event will showcase the town's new £29 million Northern Gateway Sports Park which includes a one-mile, closed-road cycling circuit.

As part of the agreement, Colchester will also host the Grand Départ of next year’s race in June 2022.

Meanwhile, it will be the third time that Clacton has hosted the event after the Essex town previously staged the race in 2014 and 2015.

This year's Women's Tour was originally due to take place in June but was pushed back until the autumn because of the pandemic.

Marianne Vos celebrates winning the yellow yersey in Clacton seven years ago. Credit: PA

“As a keen cyclist I am delighted with our success in attracting such a high-profile, global event to Colchester," Cllr Theresa Higgins from Colchester Borough Council said.

"As well as giving the town a huge commercial boost, it will no doubt inspire people of every age and ability to get on their bikes and enjoy the cycle lanes and open spaces in and around our borough.”

Women’s Tour race director Mike Bennett added: “Clacton and Tendring District Council’s continued support of the Women’s Tour should not be underestimated. They backed the inaugural edition of the race in 2014 and have continued to show their desire to push for gender equality in sport ever since.

“I’m also delighted to welcome Colchester on board as our Grand Départ start host for 2022, which, together with the opening of the stunning new Northern Gateway Sports Park, really emphasises the town’s commitment to promoting healthy living and sustainable transport initiatives.”