Women’s Tour of Britain 2024 Race Preview

WT22-6 Sprint win Wiebes

Women's Tour of Britain 2024 History

The Women’s Tour of Britain has certainly had a journey to reach this point in 2024. Under new management and a new name, finally earning the full Women’s Tour of Britain rights, the 2023 edition was not held as the original organisers were unable to financially afford it. Despite some late crowdfunding, they were unable to deliver the race in any form and ultimately British Cycling had to step in and take over a race run on their behalf. That means we’ve seen a quick replacement and only 4 stages but those 4 stages are an improvement on 2023’s no stages.

The route they’ve been able to come up with is quite a good one too. After the men’s Tour of Britain was criticised for offering nothing last year, there is a bit of something for everyone in this year’s course. A very hilly traverse across the middle of north Wales sees a flat finish in Llandudno at the sea. Expect a thinned-out peloton but ultimately a sprint finish on what is a tough rolling stage. The next day sees Horseshoe Pass late on before heading back to Wrexham. That should be an ideal launch point for a very small group to get away like they did into Welshpool in 2022. Stage 3 in Cheshire should be a locked-on sprint with Stage 4 tricky in the middle parts, with the Rake climb tackled but again should come down to a sprint in Leigh with reduced numbers.

Previous Winners

2023
Not held
2022
Elisa Longo Borghini
2021
Demi Vollering

Women's Tour of Britain 2024 Stage Profiles

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

TV Coverage

Thursday 6th June – Sunday 9th June 2024

Live on Eurosport/Discovery+ across Europe
Max in USA
Youtube – Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4 (different link each stage)

Stage 1: 13:00-15:30
Stage 2: 13:15-15:30
Stage 3: 10:45-15:00
Stage 4: 11:00-15:00

All times in BST

Twitter: #TourofBritain

Startlist: FirstCycling

Women's Tour of Britain 2024 Contenders

The big favourites will naturally come from SD Worx. Unlike at RideLondon where the stages were all for Lorena Wiebes, I can see how Lotte Kopecky gets more of a shout and the overall GC win. She’s one of the few riders able to climb well enough on the slopes here and still be in contention in sprints. She will probably pick up some bonus seconds leading out Wiebes at the end of tough stages like the Wrexham day. Lorena Wiebes will potentially be in the hunt for 3 stage wins here and probably can’t be discounted for all 4 in her current climbing form. How she fares on Horseshoe Pass will be an eye opener with it not being too tough in European standards but will split the bunch up. Really it’s just going to come down to how attacking they want to be as to whether Kopecky or Wiebes wins GC here.

We’ll see Charlotte Kool try her best to topple Wiebes again but so far it just hasn’t happened this season. She will get chances here but potentially fewer than Wiebes because of the nature of the courses. Her best threats are probably the final pair of stages with the opener stage taking a lot out of the legs before racing into a sprint in Llandudno. Teammate Pfeiffer Georgi is the better GC threat and we’ll hopefully see her making attacking moves to try and coax a small group clear. With Kool expected to be dropped on the Wrexham stage, Georgi will have her best chance there.

There’s a British national team at the Women’s Tour of Britain and it features a pair of top talents in former World Champion Lizzie Deignan and one of the top all-rounders in the peloton in Anna Henderson. Deignan you could see was trying to peak through at the RideLondon Classique, with bonus seconds having a huge impact on GC she was able to pick up a couple but then unfortunately lost some time as well on the uphill finish in Maldon. I can’t see her on Kopecky’s level but a top-10 GC is possible. Anna Henderson is coming back from another collar bone break, suffered at the Vuelta Feminina, her second one of the season. This is her first racing since then though, so it’s hard to really gauge where her level will be. At her best, there’d be the chance of a sneaky GC podium but a stage one might still be possible. Flora Perkins also had a good Vuelta Feminina, finishing 6th and 8th on stages there, sprinting at the end of tough days of riding.

Letizia Paternoster
Letizia Paternoster

Liv-AlUla-Jayco will have their usual gaggle of sprinting options, with maybe a stab at the GC podium as well. Georgia Baker will surely have the flatter stages and Letizia Paternoster for maybe those stages which have plenty of rolling action in them. It was Paternoster who made the most of her chances in RideLondon Classique though, finishing 2nd, 4th and 8th on the stages to be 4th in GC there. The team may also want to push the hot hand with that in mind. Ruby Roseman-Gannon can also sprint well but I kinda have her earmarked with the best chance on the Wrexham day. She’s got the best climbing legs and should be able to get over Horseshoe Pass somewhere near the front. Her best recent result was 5th on the chaotic opening day of the Vuelta Burgos.

Henrietta Christie is the in-form rider at the moment for Human Powered Health. She’s been 3rd at GP Ciudad de Eibar and then 6th in GC at the Vuelta a Andalucia as well. The Kiwi is just starting to fire up again after a quieter middle third of the season. As one of the purer climber options, she’s got a shout on Horseshoe Pass of picking up some valuable seconds for the GC battle. Silvia Zanardi seems ideal for British conditions but has been fairly quiet so far this year. There’s a recent highlight though of 8th at the Vuelta Burgos recently.
Linda Zanetti is another rider who should do well here but it’s been a while since she got some good results this season. You also can’t rule out Alice Wood on home roads but she is yet to break into the top-10 so far in 2024.

Julie Bego took 5th at Navarra Elite Classics, the sort of parcours that seems rather similar to some of the lumpy stages in the Women’s Tour of Britain this year. It would take something properly good to take a stage win but if a small group is going to get itself clear you may see Bego in it. Sarah Roy took her first win in 3 years recently at the Bretagne Ladies Tour, sprinting from a small group of 5 that had gone clear. That is the situation that needs to happen for Roy to win again here but the Aussie will relish these tough stages and hope the bunch is whittled down.

Roxane Fournier
Roxane Fournier

Margot Vanpachtenbeke had a great time at RideLondon Classique recently, finishing 6th on the opening stage and 13th in GC. Those were comfortably her best results since 10th at Brabantse Pijl. Quieter in London and Essex was Anne Knijnenburg but she’s a recent race winner at the Cyclis Classic after getting into a 2-up breakaway. Scarlett Souren was also surprisingly a little bit quiet as well in the UK but recently went on a run of 7 top-10 finishes in Benelux one-day races. That all makes it tough to really pick one of the trio to do the best at the Women’s Tour of Britain. Souren or Vanpachtenbeke will sprint well and Knijnenburg might do too or race for something like the QoMs jersey. Eline Jansen has also joined the late startlist, she’s a useful rider who can climb well and sprint too. She joins a number of riders on the team like that but Jansen has felt on the cusp of a major result all season. 10th at the Vuelta Femenina in a sprint hides that she was actually at the front of the race still on an uphill drag after a very tough day. She could do well on GC if she gets over Horseshoe Pass ok too.

St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 have a good number of options covered here. For climbs, it is Marion Bunel who should fare the best and should be the team’s furthest forward rider after the Horseshoe Pass. If the stage is coming down to a sprint then Roxane Fournier will be stepping up. She was 9th in GC at RideLondon Classique with a best stage finish of 10th on the reasonably uphill finish in Maldon. That’s encouraging coming into another British race with some sprinting opportunities. For everything in between, Victorie Guilman will get a shout. If Fournier is dropped before Llandudno or Leigh for instance. She should also provide some support for Bunel on the Wrexham stage and potentially sneak into the top 15 or so of GC.

Mirre-Knaven
Mirre Knaven

AG Insurance NXTG U23 has been going very well recently. Julia Kopecky and Mirre Knaven took almost all of the stage wins and GC at the Tour de Feminin in Czechia and Lore de Schepper won the GP Féminin de Chambéry with a solo break. They’re all here and will be racing with some confidence after those recent results. Laura Lizette Sander also has sprinted to recent top-10 results for good measure. The team will be looking to make a WWT top-10 where they can and try to secure promotion to the main team for 2025.

Home team Lifeplus Wahoo will want to keep up a solid RIdeLondon Classique which saw Alicia Gonzalez finish all 3 stages in the top 20 and take 14th in GC as well. She’s backed up by sprinter Babette van der Wolf who was 3rd in the Antwerp Port Epic recently. It’s her best result of the season after scoring 6th at Drentse Acht much earlier in the year. Polish rider Kaja Rysz went on a well-seen breakaway at the RideLondon Classique and whilst she might get pressed into attacking service again, she also has some good results like 7th at the Classique Morbihan.

After a slow start to the 2024 season, Marjolein van ‘t Geloof has sprung into life with a consistent set of results which has seen her finish lower than 12th only once since the start of April. The peak result in that time was 3rd in her last race at ZLM Omloop der Kempen. The sort of rider who sprints well after a hard stage, these stages seem perfect for a rider who’s been riding in the UK a lot this year.

Women's Tour of Britain 2024 Outsiders

Alice Sharpe
Alice Sharpe

DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK will have a trio of possible contenders for this major home race. Lucy Lee was sprinting in and around the top-10 at the Tour de Feminin, her best results of the 2024 season so far. Tiffany Keep sprinted to 14th at the mainly flat Cyclis Classic but has been a touch unlucky with crashes, including one at the RideLondon Classique. Alice Sharpe has the potential to get a result or challenge in breaks for a jersey. The Irish rider has a best result this year of 5th at the Pays de la Loire Tour, 11th at the Cyclis Classic and 23rd in GC at the RideLondon Classique. 

Another rider who went well at the Tour de Feminin was Alba Development Team’s Eilidh Shaw. She finished 3rd twice and 5th take 11th in GC in Czechia. She’s shown that she can challenge in European UCI races this year with top-20 spots in Belgian one-dayers like the Antwerp Port Epic and the Cyclis Classic. Beth Morrow will also be good for the team in support, she was 16th at the GP della Liberazione PINK, a relatively flat but tough circuit race in the middle of Rome. 

A longshot from one of the other British teams in the race is Lucy Harris who has made the jump from Loughborough Lightning to Pro-Noctis-200° Coffee-Hargreaves Contracting for the Women’s Tour of Britain. She comes into this race with some confidence after a pair of domestic wins in the last couple of weeks but still needs to show that she’ can handle the jump up to this level.

Top 3 Prediction