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Tour of Britain women’s race route revealed as world’s best come to Greater Manchester

The final route for the 2024 Tour of Britain Women’s cycle race has been revealed as Greater Manchester gears up to host stage four of the major international stage race on Sunday June 9.

Named as the first-ever European Capital of Cycling, Greater Manchester will welcome some of the biggest names in female cycling as they go head-to-head over 99km and 1,615m in height before the winner of the inaugural Tour of Britain Women is crowned. 

The cycle stars will depart at 11.15am from the National Cycling Centre in Manchester and conclude at Leigh Sports Village with riders expected to cross the finish line at about 2.06pm.

The anticlockwise route will cross the Ashton Canal, heading north east to Oldham before riders will first the first ‘queen of the mountains’ segment of the day.

At 2.72km long with an average gradient of 5.5 per cent, the Delph to Grains Bar clim features 23km into the route and lies among the Pennines.

The rolling route will take in the towns of Shaw and Rochdale with riders facing a fast descent through Edenfield before taking on the short but formidable Ramsbottom Rake.

At just 0.97km in length, but averaging a 9.9pc gradient, the climb known locally as ‘The Rake’ is where the final queen of the mountain points of the competition will be collected.

The peloton will pass the picturesque Wayoh and Entwistle Reservoirs in Edgworth before facing a series of ‘punchy ‘ickers’ from Dimple.

The day’s intermediate sprint segment is along Lee Lane in Horwich with 24km of the race remaining. 

A fast, flat run into Leigh will set the stage for what is expected to be a spectacular finish to the race where spectators will see the overall winner crowned.

Tour of Britain race director Rod Ellingworth said: “I am incredibly proud of the collective efforts of everyone involved to allow us to be in a position where we can announce the fourth and final route of the Tour of Britain Women. 

“Stage four is set to be another incredibly tough stage, with a series of challenging climbs, beautiful scenery and visual reminders of the area’s industrial heritage where spectators will witness the very best of women’s road racing in action.

“As the European Capital of Cycling, we know that our partners in Manchester and the surrounding boroughs will put on a show not to be missed. We are extremely grateful for the support of Marketing Manchester, Manchester Active, Manchester city council, Wigan council and all those involved for their ongoing commitment and support.”

Coun John Hacking, executive member for skills, employment and leisure, Manchester city council, said: “It is fitting that during the year when Manchester is celebrating being named the European Capital of Cycling, we are welcoming some of the greatest athletes in the sport to our city. The Tour of Britain is always a showstopper event and I’m sure thousands of people will turn out to see these incredible competitors battle it out, starting in the shadow of the National Cycling Centre, our very own medal factory and the home of British Cycling.”

Wigan council leader Coun David Molyneux said: “We are so excited that the Tour of Britain women’s race will finish at Leigh Sports Village (LSV) next month. 

“This announcement could not be more welcomed, and we’re so proud that our borough is quickly becoming a major hub for women’s sport following our hosting of the UEFA Women’s EUROs, Rugby League World Cup and now the Tour of Britain Women.

“There is going to be a fantastic atmosphere with plenty of activity down at the LSV on Sunday 9 June, so make sure to come down, have fun and support the riders.”

Prior to the final Greater Manchester section of the race, Stage 1 takes place on Thursday June 6 from Welshpool to Llandudno; Stage 2  on Friday June 7 is at Wrexham and Stage 3 on Saturday June 8 is at Warrington.

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