The Women’s Tour is being contested over six stages across central and eastern England. Sixteen teams of six riders are racing, including most of the sport’s major teams, alongside some continental outfits.
The prestigious race is taking place in October rather than its usual May slot due to the pandemic, but has still attracted a strong field, including the new world road champion Elisa Balsamo and defending champion Lizzie Deignan.
Here is a close look at what the riders have been racing around Britain’s notoriously tough roads.
Abi Smith of Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank races with her Dura-Ace Di2 levers turned inwards considerably.
Team SD Worx are racing on Zipp’s new 353 NSW wheelset and Specialized’s S-Works Turbo Rapid Air 26mm tubeless tires.
New hour record holder Joss Lowden (Drops-Le Col-Tempur) prefers Fabric’s Line-S Pro Flat saddle.
Joss Lowden is all about being aerodynamic, and races on Enve’s SES Aero Road Handlebar, with matching SES Aero Road Stem.
Team Drops’ Ribble Endurance SL R Disc bikes are fitted with Shimano Ultegra Di2, Mavic Cosmic SL 45 Disc wheels, and 28mm Continental Grand Prix 5000TL tubeless tires. Their number boards are also fitted the opposite way round to everyone else’s.
Team BikeExchange are mostly riding Bianchi’s Specialissima, with one rider on the Oltre XR4. Number 142 belongs to Trinidad and Tobago’s Teniel Campbell, who is the tallest rider in the race at 1.83m/6′, and has an epic saddle to handlebar drop.
Alongside the standard Dura-Ace wheels on Team BikeExchange’s machines was this pair of unbranded wheels. They look to be around 50mm deep, with hubs that don’t look typically Shimano. Note the Bianchi celeste wrap of the timing chips on the fork legs.
Two days after her historic win in the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes aboard a Trek Domane with a single ring, Lizzie Deignan lined up as the Women’s Tour defending champion with her usual team liveried Trek Emonda.
SD Worx race on Time pedals, which are now a part of the SRAM component family. These XPRPO 15 pedals have a hollow titanium axle, carbon body and cleat retention blade, and weigh just 87g each.
Team DSM’s Scott Addict RCs are fitted with the curvy Syncros Creston IC SL integrated carbon bar and stem.
The Creston IC SL one-piece cockpit enables ideal cable integration with Di2 and hydraulic discs, and incorporates a textured top for grip.
A cadence magnet is glued to the chainstay of this Team DSM Addict RC to work with the Dura-Ace R9100-P power meter.
This Canyon SRAM bike had a Schwalbe front tubeless tire marked only as Prototype, with some handwritten markings on the other side.
Canadian champion Alison Jackson’s Liv team bike has a negative rise stem, alongside its SRAM eTap AXS groupset, Giant Cadex wheels and Vittoria tubulars.
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitane Futuroscope race on Lapierre bikes with Shimano and PRO components, with even the K-Edge GPS mount branded PRO. Note the external Di2 control box strap around the stem.
Newly-crowned world road champion Elisa Balsamo’s (Valcar Travel and Service) Cannondale Supersix Evo Disc is fully rainbow-compliant, right down to the FSA Power Box power meter.
One of the smallest teams in the race, British Continental team AWOL O’Shea (AWOL stands for A Way Of Life), warm up on rollers ahead of stage 1. Note the old T-Mobile team-issue Giant frameset.
The AWOL O’Shea team car’s spare bikes are an eclectic mix, reflecting the difference in resources between some Continental teams and the higher budget outfits.
This Parkhotel Valkenburg Factor VAM 02 gets a last minute Di2 battery charge from a power bank. The team are one of only a few in this race to be using rim brakes on their Factor ONE and VAM 02 bikes.
Stage 1 winner Marta Bastianelli’s stem and handlebar are plastered with a stage details, which obviously worked for her on the day.
Team Ale BTC Ljubljana’s Bastianelli rides a Cipollini NK1K with Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset, and Bora Ultra 35 tubular wheelset.
British Continental team CAMS-Basso ride Basso Diamante bikes with Campagnolo Chorus Disc groupsets, and Dedacciai wheels and components. The Vinci DCR carbon bar is designed to internally route cables through the Vinci stem, but that’s not fitted here.
CAMS Basso also race with the solid aluminum Miche Guarnitura Attiva SRM-equipped crankset.