Colchester proud to host the Women’s Tour Grand Départ

PUBLISHED: 9 June 2022

COLCHESTER has “done itself proud” after the world’s best cyclists whizzed through the streets of the newly crowned city in an exciting display of elite sport.
The eighth edition of the Women’s Tour, Britain’s longest running women’s stage race and part of the UCI Women’s World Tour, set off from Colchester Sports Park this week (Monday 6 June). The event wowed spectators throughout Colchester and surrounding areas as 97 riders from 17 teams, sped through the borough for the opening leg to Bury St Edmunds, the first of six stages taking place this week ahead of the finish in Oxford city centre this Saturday 11 June.
Cllr Adam Fox, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “Colchester has done itself proud in hosting the Grand Depart for this international sporting event. This year, residents and visitors to the region could enjoy even more opportunities to get out and cheer on the riders who competed along over 22 miles of racing through our city and villages.

“The Women’s Tour is such an exciting way to showcase our beautiful borough on the world’s stage as well as the excellent cycling facilities available for all to enjoy at Colchester Sports Park. Keeping active is so vital to our physical and mental wellbeing, and today’s event was a great opportunity to gain inspiration from some of the world’s most elite sports women.”

Visitors to the Sports Park were able to see all 17 teams presented to the crowds before riders assembled at the starting line. Young visitors got pedalling on the Pump Track, and visitors browsed an array of stalls including from East of England Co-op, Cycling for All, University of Essex’s Human Performance Unit and Colchester Borough Council’s E-Cargo Bikes, and enjoyed coffee, pastries and more at Paddy and Scott’s café.

Ahead of the official race, a pre-race ride-out took place on the Sports Park’s cycling track led by Rob Womack, Paralympian track and field athlete and London 2012 medallist. Rob was joined by representatives from the leading national UK cycling charity, ‘Wheels For All’ alongside a procession of Colchester Borough Council’s green electric cargo bikes, eCargo bikes.

Cllr John Jowers, Deputy Mayor of Colchester, waved the starting flag to begin the first leg, covering 142.1 kilometres (88.3 miles) it finished on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds at around 3pm and was won by Frenchwoman Clara Copponi, the FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope rider who claimed the first victory of her road racing career.
Mick Bennett, Race Director, The Women’s Tour, said: “It was a delight to return to Colchester for the start of this year’s Women’s Tour and especially with Colchester Sports Park welcoming us once again. It is great that we can showcase this wonderful facility with the Women’s Tour and give people the chance to come see the Sports Park firsthand. We hope many will come back in the future to experience it with their own bikes.”
Follow the Women’s Tour on Twitter (#WomensTour), Facebook, and Instagram or via the event’s official website at

Page last reviewed: 9 June 2022


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