British Cycling and Lloyds Bank have taken on the organisation of the Tour of Britain Women, previously known as the Women’s Tour. The ninth edition of this race will begin on Thursday 6th June in Welshpool and conclude on Sunday 9th June in Manchester & Leigh.

Concerns about the event arose when the former organisers, SweetSpot, faced financial difficulties and went into liquidation. The race, first held in 2014, was already cancelled twice – in 2020 and last year. Another cancellation would have been a significant setback for women’s racing in Great Britain. Fortunately, the event remains part of the Women’s WorldTour, and despite being reduced to four days, it still promises thrilling racing across hilly, punchy stages before concluding in Manchester.

For a full race preview, the ProCyclingUK one is available here.

Potential Contenders

The field for the Tour of Britain Women might be smaller than some other top-tier races, with 88 riders set to start, but several competitors stand out as favourites for the overall classification. That’s largely down to the race’s uncertainty forcing teams to also apply for other races like the Flanders Diamond Tour and Volta Catalunya which are taking part at the same time. As the plans for the Tour of Britain Women solidified, those teams were committed to other races. As a result, there are only 4 WWT teams taking part this year.

The SD Worx-Protime team is bringing a strong squad, including World Champion Lotte Kopecky. After a break following the Spring Classics, Kopecky returned to race at the RideLondon Classique, supporting her teammate Lorena Wiebes. Kopecky acted as a lead-out for Wiebes, who won all three stages and the overall classification. In the Tour of Britain Women, with its hilly terrain and categorised mountains, Kopecky is expected to be a favourite. She will be supported by Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Elena Cecchini, Christine Majerus, and Barbara Guarischi.

Lizzie Deignan
(Photo credit: Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

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Although Lidl-Trek is not participating, Lizzie Deignan remains a key figure. The former World Champion has previously won the overall classification twice—in 2026 and 2019. Despite a strong start to her spring campaign, Deignan had an unfortunate crash in the Tour of Flanders, leading to a fracture in her right arm. After a month away from racing, she has been rebuilding her form and will lead Team Great Britain in the upcoming event. Deignan’s team includes Olympic gold medallist Elinor Barker, Elynor Bäckstedt, Anna Henderson, Millie Couzens, and Flora Perkins.

Team dsm-firmenich PostNL also brings a formidable line-up. British national champion Pfeiffer Georgi stands out for her all-around capability on punchy terrain, both in breakaways and reduced-group sprints. Her strong spring campaign includes finishes such as third at Paris-Roubaix and fourth at Amstel Gold Race. Georgi’s highest finish in this event was eighth in 2021. The current route may provide her with a chance to secure a podium spot in the general classification.

Other contenders

With a smaller field, riders like Henrietta Christie could seize the moment. Christie, a New Zealander, frequently finishes in the top 10 at major events and will lead Human Powered Health in the Tour of Britain Women. Her team includes Alice Wood, Barbara Malcotti, Linda Zanetti, Silvia Zanardi, and Marit Raaijmakers. Christie’s recent performances, including a podium at Gran Premio Ciudad de Eibar and a strong showing at the Vuelta an Andalucia Women, position her well for this race.

Although primarily known as a sprinter, Letizia Paternoster has shown her strength in hilly races. She has a major focus on track events for the Paris Olympic Games but also enjoys road races. This spring, she had impressive results, including third at Dwars door Vlaanderen and ninth at the Tour of Flanders. Paternoster recently competed in the RideLondon Classique, finishing fourth overall. The hilly route of the Tour of Britain Women may give her the edge over sprinter rivals, making her a contender for the overall win.

Left field options include Julie Bego who was impressive at the Alpes Gresivaudan Classic at the weekend, Margot Vanpachtenbeke who was 6th on the opening stage of the RideLondon Classique and Julia Kopecky who took 2 stage wins and the overall GC at the Tour de Feminin recently.

Main photo credit: Ford RideLondon