Twelve of the world’s top fifteen women’s professional teams will head to Britain this June to race in the second edition of the Friends Life Women’s Tour.
Led by the world’s number one team Rabo Liv, who won the 2014 Friends Life Women’s Tour with Marianne Vos, all of the world’s top six trade teams will ride in this June’s event, which begins in Suffolk on Wednesday 17 June and comes to Oundle on Friday 19th June.
The Boels Dolmans, Wiggle Honda, Velocio SRAM and Orica AIS teams, plus debutants Bigla Pro Cycling will all take part in the five-day Friends Life Women’s Tour, which has daily highlights on ITV4.
The teams invited also boast all bar seven of the world’s top 50 riders ranked by the sport’s governing body, the UCI, as of their end of February rankings. Commenting on the announcement, Mick Bennett, Race Director of organisers SweetSpot said;
“We have once again secured a world-class line-up of teams for the Friends Life Women’s Tour, which surpasses even that of our inaugural event in 2014. To have attracted so many of the world’s top teams to race in Britain shows the high regard in which the Friends Life Women’s Tour is already held, a regard which we will reward with another exciting and high-profile race this June.
“Over the coming weeks and months we look forward to confirming many of the world-class riders that we know will be racing at the Friends Life Women’s Tour, giving cycling fans in the UK something to look forward to this June.”
In total seven teams will make their debut in the race, including the domestic Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team of Dame Sarah Storey and Joanna Rowsell and the Dutch Liv Plantur squad of Lucy Garner. Joining the professional teams, and also making their debuts, will be the national teams of Germany and the United States, both ranked in the top four nations in the world. Winners of the 2014 team classification Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling return to the race, while new additions are the Italian Ale Cipollini team and French Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope-86 squad.
In total nine nations will be represented by teams, with British riders expected to be in the line-ups of many squads, not least the three home teams of Matrix Fitness, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International and Wiggle Honda.Announcements about rider line-ups for the six rider squads of the 16 teams will be made later during the Spring and early Summer.
The complete list of teams for the 2015 Friends Life Women’s Tour is:
- Ale Cipollini (Italy)
- Bigla Pro Cycling Team (Switzerland)
- Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Netherlands)
- Germany national team
- Lotto Soudal (Belgium)
- Matrix Fitness (Great Britain)
- Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
- Orica AIS (Australia)
- Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International (Great Britain)
- Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope-86 (France)
- Rabo Liv Cycling Team (Netherlands)
- Team Liv Plantur (Netherlands)
- UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (USA)
- USA national team
- Velocio SRAM (Germany)
- Wiggle Honda (Great Britain)