The 2022 Women’s Tour will end with a spectacular Oxfordshire finale in June, with stage six taking place between Chipping Norton and Oxford city centre.
As part of race organiser SweetSpot’s three-year partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, alongside the county’s city and district councils, this stage will visit parts of the county that did not feature in previous races.
Neither Chipping Norton, the county’s highest town nor Oxford have hosted a stage start or finish of the race to date, although the world’s best riders did pass through the historic city’s eastern side during last year’s stage from Bicester to Banbury.
The 145 km (90 mile) route will pass through many picture-postcard locations, including one of Britain’s most loved areas, the Cotswolds.
It will head as far north as Milcombe – a short distance from Banbury where Italian rider Marta Bastianelli triumphed in the 2021 race – before changing course and travelling south through West Oxfordshire towards RAF Brize Norton in Carterton.
Stage six will also feature Faringdon – which memorably turned pink when the race visited in 2019 – and Didcot in the Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire districts, respectively.
Riders will cross the River Thames using the Folly Bridge as the race enters Oxford from its south side. In what promises to be a truly stunning end to the 2022 race, the stage will finish on the historic St Giles’.
About 100 professional riders will weave their way through towns, villages and rural areas, inspiring local schools to organise themed sport and fitness lessons. Highlights of the race will also be screened on ITV4.
2022 marks the third year that Oxfordshire will host the Women’s Tour, with the county council and district and city councils working in partnership with race organisers SweetSpot to deliver the event.
Different routes were planned each year to showcase the diversity of the county to a national and international audience.
Created by SweetSpot Group in 2014, the Women’s Tour is the UK’s first international stage race for women, bringing the world’s top riders to compete in Great Britain as a part of the UCI Women’s World Tour.
In addition to its wider aims of promoting active and healthy lifestyles to women, the event has championed equality in sport, notably offering the same prize fund pro-rata as the men’s Tour of Britain.
The race, which has been won by the likes of Marianne Vos (2014), Lizzie Deignan (2016) and Coryn Rivera (2018), attracts an annual roadside audience of 300,000, as well as over three million fans through linear and online platforms.