The 2022 Women’s Tour will end with a spectacular Oxfordshire finale on Saturday 11 June.
Stage six of Britain’s biggest and longest-running international women’s cycling stage race will start in Chipping Norton before culminating in Oxford city centre.
As part of the race organiser’s three-year partnership with Oxfordshire County Council and 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.
This year’s stage winner will add their name to an already prestigious Oxfordshire roll of honour: former world and European champions Jolien D’hoore and Marta Bastianelli triumphed in the race’s previous visits to the county.
D’hoore took victory at the world-famous Blenheim Palace in 2019, while Bastianelli won in Banbury on the opening day of last year’s race, which took place in October as a result of the pandemic.
Further details of the Oxfordshire stage, including the full route, locations, and timetables, will follow in due course. Spectators can watch all the action by the roadside for free.
The race’s opening stage will take place between Colchester and Bury St Edmunds on Monday 06 June.
“Oxfordshire has welcomed the Women’s Tour so enthusiastically during our previous two editions. We’re particularly looking forward to taking the race to those parts of the county that we’ve not passed through in 2019 and 2021, particularly the beautiful market town of Chipping Norton, which will put on a show by hosting the stage start. The world-class field of riders we attract will compete around the world throughout the 2022 season, but I have little doubt that the finish in Oxford will be among the most spectacular backdrops they’re greeted with this year.”
—Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour Race Director
“What a fantastic way to showcase our wonderful county to the world. I’m confident this event will support and raise awareness of cycling and its benefits, as well as bring an economic boost to our communities – so important as businesses recover from the pandemic. Hosting this prestigious race for a third time is a great collaborative effort between the county council and our local authority colleagues.”
—Councillor Liz Leffman, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council
“I am really pleased that Chipping Norton has been chosen as the location to start stage six. It’s a great honour for West Oxfordshire to be hosting the start of the race, and it creates an opportunity for communities to come together to watch this prestigious event right on their doorstep. Chipping Norton is already a popular destination for visitors; this event will give a great boost to local businesses and traders as well as showcasing the beauty of our district.”
—Michele Mead, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council
“We’re excited to be hosting the finish of the UK Women’s Tour in Oxford this year. Over the last two years, the race has showcased our beautiful county, and we’re proud to welcome them to our historic city. I hope we’ll see more people inspired to get on their bikes to travel round the city and out across the county. As Chris Boardman at Active Travel England announced last week, the ambition is for 50 per cent of journeys to be made by bike, or on foot, by 2030.”
—Councillor Jemima Hunt, Active Travel and Cycling Champion at Oxford City Council
“Last year’s Oxfordshire stage of the Women’s Tour was a truly remarkable day, drawing big crowds to Banbury and Bicester as local people and cycling fans gathered to support some of the world’s best athletes. We are big backers of the event as it returns to our county to entertain and inspire.”
—Councillor Andrew McHugh, Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing at Cherwell District Council
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the Women’s Tour return to the Vale of White Horse and excitement building in the coming weeks once the full route is announced. The tour is a great way of promoting cycling to people across the district, particularly for young women. Thousands of residents and visitors lined the streets to cheer the riders on in 2019 and 2021, and I’m sure we will see even more people this year with the event taking place on a Saturday.”
—Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council