Friends Life Women’s Tour 2014
Author: Chris Maher, Pictures courtesy of: Chris Maher | Photography
Tuesday 06th May 2014
The night before the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour begins. Race Director Mick Bennett held a Press Conference in front of a crowded room, at the Race Headquarters in Kettering.
Wiggle Honda’s Giorgia Bronzini, Orica AIS’s Emma Johansson, Rabo Liv’s Marianne Vos & Boels Dolmans Lizzie Armitstead all sat together answering the media’s questions.
Mick was keen to point out the his commitment to this Friends Life Women’s Tour was of the highest standard seen in any Country, and that with-in three years, would be the number one Women’s Road Race on the global platform. He said that this was the best assembled group of Women Athletes since the Olympic Games here in Britain. And that it was up-to the girls to prove that Women’s cycling, was indeed exciting to watch.
There is over two-hundred accredited media personal registered for the Friends Life Women’s Tour. More than any of the previous Tour of Britain’s he’s been involved with. This shows the level of interest, in the sport, Mick says.
With Quality Hotels and over sixty police escorts, the aim is to provide a top class race for the Women to race in. Marianne Vos was one of the first Women to sign-up. Been assured of the highest standard in support, and equal prize funding to the Men’s race. She said that this race has helped expand the 2014 Women’s race calendar, and can only increase the awareness of Women’s cycling around the world. She was proud to be associated with the inaugural Tour, and hopes that it goes from strength to strength.
The girls talked about the plans for the race ahead. Giorgia spoke about the loss of Joanna Rowsell, who pulled out yesterday. Talking with a husky voice herself, felt confident that they still have a strong squad and newly drafted in for the Tour, Australian Peta Mullens would add fire power to the squad.
Marianne Vos wants to make it a hard race, she explains. The weather forecast later in the week, is for windy/ blustery conditions. And thinks that the time bonuses will make all the difference.
Lizzie Armitstead, agreed with Marianne about the windy and probably wetter conditions would play a vital part in the way this Tour pans out. She explained that been part of the Dutch, Boels Dolmans squad, where she as just signed for another two years, would benefit from the experience of windy racing conditions that they race under in Holland. And is confident that her team would be a strategic player in the development of the race towards the back-end of the Tour.
Lizzie, will of course be displaying her National Road Race Champions jersey in the Tour. So look out for her! She is extremely proud to wear the red and blue bands. And is looking forward to the hard undulating roads on offer in this five day event.
Friends Life Women’s Tour