Everything we know as soon as we know it
Neutral Service, working alongside Matrix-Vulpine, aims to bring you as much news from the 2014 FriendsLife Women’s Tour as possible and as quickly as possible, including interesting stuff you won’t find elsewhere. Updates will begin on the 6th of May (the day before the race starts) and will continue throughout the race. In addition, we’ll have nightly reviews of all the action. If you have race photos you’d like to share with fans, we’d love to publish them here – email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or send them via Twitter. Don’t forget to follow all the teams and riders and the official race Twitter account for more! #TheWomensTour
06.05 / Stage 1 / Stage 2 / Stage 3 / Stage 4 / Stage 5
23:53 This is your lot from Neutral Service for tonight; early start tomorrow to pick up press accreditation!
23:51 Word around the hotel bar is that Sarah “Pigeons” Connolly absolutely shone at the press conference. Her report ought to make for fascinating reading.
23:49 So – riders spotted so far: the entire Matrix-Vulpine squad, who look seriously up for the race (a few intermediate sprint wins are well within reach; a stage win isn’t impossible); the Netherlands National Selection; a smattering of Hitec Products. Got to the team hotel a bit too late!
23:46 Was very interesting to hear Stef Wyman, directeur sportif of the British Matrix-Vulpine team, giving his riders a pre-race briefing this evening. Stef cares about more than results – he’s also very concerned with each rider as an individual and their future as a cyclist, telling them that they need to be professional and impress the top teams here in order to increase their chances of finding professional contracts and going on to enjoy glittering careers.
17:14 The press conference is underway – Neutral Service didn’t get there in time, but TTL Women’s Cycling are currently taking questions on Twitter and putting them to Marianne Vos, Lizzie Armitstead and Emma Johansson.
16:06 Ruth Weatherill has just become the first person to send us a photo from the race!
15:10 The Women’s Tour took “an almighty effort and an immense degree of belief from the organiser, Sweetspot,” says William Fotheringham.
14:12 “The British public know the success we’ve had on the track and obviously with the men’s road. I think they’re going to be so impressed with the standard of racing” at The Women’s Tour, says Lucy Garner.
13:58 Even the Polish fans are backing Our Lizzie!
13:38 Wiggle-Honda are out on the parcours for a practice…
13:25 Lointek are another team with the strength to challenge for stage wins, yet they’ve somehow only got 700 followers on Twitter – this injustice must be corrected! Give them a follow!
13:11 Know your jerseys…? 12:51 Sarah Connolly has a good article explaining the various ways you can follow the race.
11:55 The Women’s Tour isn’t the only bike race to take place in Britain, of course. Here’s a report with results from the weekend’s Bedford 3-Day.
11:51 Another good news article, from the BBC – Marianne Vos eyes pivotal year for women’s cycling.
11:41 Another Twitter worth following today – Oundle Women’s Tour. 11:32 A couple of great articles on the race and riders in the Daily telegraph this morning. Eight-time National Cyclo Cross Champion Helen Wyman, who is riding in the Women’s Tour with Matrix-Vulpine, has a look at the parcours and explains why it’s far tougher than it looks on paper here, and UCI World Cup leader Lizzie Armitstead talks about why she could never hate Marianne Vos here.
11:30 Don’t forget that if you have any photos taken on the way to the race, your preparations for the race or anything else to do with the race and you’d like to share them with the women’s cycling world, we’d like to hear from you! See the links above.
11:27 With less than 24 hours to go, the start list seems set (though anyone who knows much at all about women’s cycling will be well aware that you can never be entirely sure who’ll be racing until you see them on the start line). The links below lead to the riders’ Twitters; follow them for interesting information throughout the race and beyond!
|Astana-BePink||Boels-Dolmans||Estada de Mexico-Faren||Hitec Products|
|11 Doris Schweizer||21 Lizzie Armitstead||31 Uenia Fernandes da Souza||51 Thea Thorsen|
|12 Dalia Muccioli||22 Ellen van Dijk||32 Lucy Martin||52 Ashleigh Moolman|
|13 Silvia Valsecchi||23 Romy Kasper||33 Fabiana Luperini||53 Elisa Longo Borghini|
|14 Susanna Zorzi||24 Christine Majerus||34 Rossella Ratto||54 Siri Minge|
|15 Michela Maltese||25 Emma Trott||35 Erika Yepez||55 Chloe Hosking|
|16 Alice Maria Arzuffi||26 Katarzyna Pawlowska||36 Elena Cecchini||56 Audrey Cordon|
|Lointek||Lotto-Belisol||Matrix-Vulpine||Optum p/b KBS|
|61 Aude Biannic||71 Emma Pooley||81 Helen Wyman||101 Lauren Hall|
|62 Belen Lopez Morales||72 Amy Cure||82 Mel Lowther||102 Janel Holcomb|
|63 Lucia Gonzalez Blanco||73 Isabelle Beckers||83 Harriet Owen||103 Leah Kirchmann|
|64 Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz||74 Liesbet de Vocht||84 Jessie Walker||104 Joelle Numainville|
|65 Fanny Riberot||75 Anisha Vekemans||85 Jo Tindley||105 Denise Ramsden|
|66 Aurore Verhoeven||76 Chantal Hoffmann||86 Penny Rowson||106 Jade Wilcoxson|
|111 Emma Johansson||1 Marianne Vos||121 Chantal Blaak||141 Hannah Barnes|
|112 Loes Gunnewijk||2 Annemiek van Vleuten||122 Lisa Brennauer||142 Katie Hall|
|113 Shara Gillow||3 Anna Knauer||123 Karol-Ann Canuel||143 Cari Higgins|
|114 Nettie Edmondson||4 Roxane Knetemann||124 Tiffany Cromwell||144 Sharon Laws|
|115 Valentina Scandolara||5 Iris Slappendel||125 Elise Delzenne||145 Lauren Tamayo|
|116 Gracie Elvin||6 Lucinda Brand||126 Trixi Worrack||146 Ruth Winder|
|151 Laura Trott||41 Lucy Garner||91 Amy Pieters||131 Jolanda Neff|
|152 Dani King||42 Hayley Jones||92 Anouska Koster||132 Linda Indergand|
|153 Charlotte Becker||43 Ciara Horne||93 Henriette Woering||133 Katrin Leumann|
|154 Giorgia Bronzini||44 Emily Kay||94 Ashlynn van Baarle||134 Ramona Forchini|
|155 Peta Mullens||45 Katie Archibald||95 Mascha Pijnenborg||135 Caroline Bauer|
|156 Linda Villumsen||46 Amy Hill||96 Janine van der Meer||136 Jutta Steinen|
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06.05 / Stage 1 / Stage 2 / Stage 3 / Stage 4 / Stage 5