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The only way is Essex for the 2021 Women's Tour

Will Strickson
8 Mar 2021

Penultimate stage of the Women's Tour will go from Colchester to the Clacton seaside on 8th October

Colchester and Clacton in Essex will host the start and finish of the penultimate stage of this year's Women's Tour, provisionally set for 8th October.

The delayed race's fifth stage will be the first time the Women's Tour has visited Colchester, with its Northern Gateway Sports Park, which includes a one mile closed-road cycling circuit, featuring on the stage.

Race organiser SweetSpot also announced that the castle town will host the Women's Tour Grand Départ in 2022.

Colchester has a history when it comes to UK pro cycling races, hosting the finish of Stage 7 of the Tour of Britain in 2010 – when Vacansoleil's Borut Božič took the victory – as well as four rounds of the Tour Series.

Councillor Theresa Higgins, portfolio holder for commercial services in the area, said: 'As a keen cyclist I am delighted with our success in attracting such a high-profile, global event to Colchester.

'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.'

Meanwhile Clacton is hosting a stage finish for the third time, with Marianne Vos taking victory on the promenade in 2014 and Jolien D'Hoore winning in 2015.

Clacton is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year so expect festivities around the Women's Tour to bring as much as its last visit, which organisers say generated over £1.3m for the local economy.

Local councillor Alex Porter, who is Tendring District Council cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: 'It is always a pleasure to have the Women's Tour come to the Essex Sunshine Coast, and with our beautiful countryside and coastline we can provide a stunning backdrop for this top cycling race.'

Women's Tour race director Mick 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.'

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