Taking place over five days from Wednesday 15 to Sunday 19 June, the 2016 edition of the race will be a part of the new UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar, currently one of just four multi-day stage races on the season long programme of races for the world’s top riders and teams.
The race will begin at Southwold on the Suffolk coast, before Norfolk becomes one of five counties to make their debut on the route, hosting the opening stage finish in Norwich city centre.
Stage two will see a first visit to Warwickshire, with a 140-kilometre stage between Atherstone and Stratford-upon-Avon on Thursday 16 June.
A day later the peloton will face the first of two days in and around the Peak District, with 2,000-metres of climbing on the route between Ashbourne and Chesterfield in Derbyshire on the Friday through the heart of the Peak District National Park.
The cities of Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent will bookend stage Four on Saturday 18 June, with a route that includes a hilly finale through the Staffordshire Moorlands before the finish in the 2016 UK European City of Sport.
The race will conclude in Kettering, where Christine Majerus took a stage win in the 2015 edition, with Stage five beginning in Northampton, which hosted the very first stage finish of the Aviva Women’s Tour in May 2014.
Road world champion Lizzie Armitstead, of the Boels Dolmans team, said:
“It’s fantastic news that the Aviva Women’s Tour will continue in 2016. As a British rider it’s a privilege to be able to compete on home roads, the British public have really taken to cycling and you can see that when the race goes through different towns the community really gets behind it.”
Commenting on the route announcement, Aviva Women’s Tour race director Mick Bennett said: “We are delighted to present the route for the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour with a significantly tougher parcours than the previous editions, as requested by the team’s following last year, allowing us to take the race to some new areas.
“When we created the Women’s Tour in 2014 we said that our aim was for the event to be the world’s best women’s race within three years and it is our firm belief that being a part of the new UCI Women’s WorldTour sees us well on course to do so.”
Stages and ITV4 coverage:
Stage 1 – Wednesday 15th June – 21:00 (repeated the following day at 13:00)
- Stage 2 – Thursday 16th June – 21:00 (repeated the following day at 13:00)
- Stage 3 – Friday 17th June – 22:30 (repeated the following day at 13:30)
- Stage 4 – Saturday 18th June – 22:30 (repeated the following day at 09:00)
- Stage 5 – Sunday 19th June – 22:30 (repeated the following day at 13:00)