SweetSpot, organisers of the UK-based stage race The Women’s Tour announced early details of the 2022 route on Tuesday. This year’s parcours is set to include the “toughest summit finish in race history to date” in the Welsh country of Carmarthenshire. Along with details for two of the six stages, race organisers stressed that they are still searching for a title sponsor for the event and because of this they are unable to provide live coverage for the women’s WorldTour stage race.
“While highlights of this year’s race will once again be shown on ITV4 in the UK, and around the world via Eurosport and GCN, Women’s Tour organisers SweetSpot continue to work on securing the funding required to broadcast the event live,” SweetSpot said in the press release. “In addition to a broadcast partner package, the Women’s Tour is also seeking a new title partners and sponsorship of the prestigious points and sprints jerseys.”
The Women’s Tour first launched in 2014 and was hailed as one of the premier women’s stage races with riders and fans praising the quality of organisation and professionalism as well as the one-hour highlights package the race put out even before coverage was mandated by The UCI. Since 2020, however, the race appears to have been badly hit by the pandemic with that edition eventually having to be cancelled. The UCI rules require at least an hour of live coverage for all women’s WorldTour events, going so far as to remove WWT status for the Giro Donne in 2021 after they failed to provide coverage the year before. The Women’s Tour was unable to provide coverage in 2021 but was able to retain its WWT status for 2022.
After a few years of schedule changes due to the pandemic, the race will return to its usual June spot on the WorldTour calendar. Stage 1 will begin in Colchester on Monday 6th June which follows a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
“The past two years have been extremely challenging and, like all event organisers, we have been presented with a number of obstacles to overcome,” said Hugh Roberts, the Women’s Tour chief executive. “We remain in the market for a title partner for the Women’s Tour, as well as the men’s Tour of Britain. These are exciting opportunities for companies to support women’s cycling, and we are sure that there is a brand out there who would like to be associated with the continued success of the Women’s Tour. Since the race was launched in 2014 the development and upward trajectory of women’s cycling has been incredible, so there is definitely untapped potential and fantastic opportunities for brands.”
“We are still working hard to secure the budget to enable us to expand the coverage of the Women’s Tour to include a live broadcast this summer, which we are determined to make happen.”