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AJ Bell Women’s Tour 2021

On Monday 4 October 2021, thousands of people in the Vale of White Horse and beyond are expected to line the route as over 100 professional riders race through Oxfordshire as part of the prestigious AJ Bell Women’s Tour cycling event, bringing both economic and health benefits to the area.

This will be the second year that Oxfordshire will host the Women’s Tour as part of a three-year commitment that began in 2019, and following the event’s postponement in 2020, will finish in 2022. Different routes are planned each year to showcase the county’s diversity to a national and international audience.

Get involved and make the most of the event

We’d love to see everyone in the Vale get involved to mark this event, particular those of you who live or work near the route.

This could be

  • Simply cheering the riders on from the side of the roads, where it is safe to do so
  • Joining your community to put up bunting, flags, or cycling-inspired artwork along the route
  • If you have a shop you could create a cycling-themed window display
  • If you have a cafe or restaurant you could have a cycling-themed menu
  • For more ideas, take a look at the community initiatives pack (PDF).

The event will be seen by a national television audience – highlights will be shown at 9pm on 4 October on ITV 4, so it’s a great chance to show the area off to the wider public!

Race organisers SweetSpot have unveiled the provisional start list for the race, including Olympic time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten, and reigning road and time trial world champions, Elisa Balsamo and Ellen van Dijkhas. 

What will happen on the day

The AJ Bell Women’s Tour will start in Bicester around 11am and will then pass through Oxford and South Oxfordshire and is then expected to enter the Vale via Abingdon Bridge just after midday.

In Abingdon the riders will follow this route:

  • Bridge Street
  • Stert Street (against the one-way system)
  • turning left onto Stratton Way 
  • turning right onto Bath Street
  • Wootton Road

The riders will leave the town at the Wootton Road roundabout and travel to the north of the Vale through Whitecross and Farmoor before exiting the district by 1pm via the Swinford Toll Bridge.

For more information please see the estimated route timings.

Please note, if you are watching the race in Abingdon, the best place to view proceedings will be on Wootton Road, as there will be reduced space in the town centre due to the Michaelmass Fair taking place.

Road closures and parking restrictions

To ensure the safety of competitors and the public, rolling road closures will be in place while the event passes through each area. 

In Abingdon, road closures are expected to happen from midday, a few minutes before the riders enter the town, until around 12.40pm, and will affect the roads listed above and surrounding roads, including Vineyard and East St Helen Street.

While the road closures are in place there will be no vehicle access to the town centre, including in or out of Rye Farm, Hales Meadow or Charter car parks. 

These short road closures will be in addition to the closures already in place from 3 to 6 October while the Michaelmas Fair is in town. 

The rolling road closures will then continue along the route as the riders journey through the north of the district.

There will also be no parking on the route on race day until after all riders have passed.  This restriction will be strictly enforced, and any vehicles will be removed.

We would urge those of you who live or work on or near to the route to prepare in advance, so you don’t get caught in any delays.

For more information, view the full updated route.

All rolling road closures for the race will be managed by the race organisers Sweetspot and their police outriders

More information about the AJ Bell Women’s Tour

Created by SweetSpot Group in 2014, the Women’s Tour is the UK’s first international stage race for women, bringing the world’s top riders to compete in Great Britain as a part of the UCI Women’s World Tour.

In addition to its wider aims of promoting active and healthy lifestyles to women, the event has championed equality in sport, notably offering the same prize fund pro rata as the men’s Tour of Britain.

The race, which has been won by the likes of Marianne Vos (2014), Lizzie Deignan (2016 and 2019) and Coryn Rivera (2018), attracts an annual roadside audience of 300,000, as well as over three million fans through linear and online platforms.

For more information about this event visit the Women’s Tour website.

Olympic champion racing in Oxfordshire

Olympic time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten has confirmed that the AJ Bell Women’s Tour will be on her programme in 2021. Further details here.