'We will be aggressive': OVO Energy Women's Tour racers ready to scrap in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 19:00 09 June 2019
With less than 24 hours to go, four champions of the OVO Energy Women's Tour are ready to set Suffolk alight with fierce racing between Beccles and Stowmarket.
Tour winners Coryn Rivera, Kasia Niewiadoma, Marianne Vos and Britain's Lizzie Deignan ready to conquer Suffolk and take the first stage of this year's series.
Rivera, the 2018 champion riding for team Sunweb, said: "Normally when it rains things get pretty hard, people can crash, they can puncture, so it's never easy.
"This first stage is very sprint-friendly so it should be great."
READ MORE: All you need to know about the Suffolk stage of the Women's Tour
Deignan, riding for the American team Trek-Segafredo, said: "We will be aggressive starting this tour and hopefully it's going to make for a great race.
"It's a privilege to be able to show off women's cycling on TV every night."
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She added: "It's important for the mechanics and the team when you've got weather like this.
I think we have to be prepared for anything. This first stage is very flat but we still have to be prepared."
The gruelling 98-mile route has three sprint sections and two Queen of the Mountain stages - before the pack head to Kent's Cyclopark for the second stage on June 11.
Race director Mick Bennett said: "They all said after the last tour that is wasn't hard enough - so we have made this year a lot tougher."
Bennett has already described this years race as "the most brutal edition yet" in an interview with The Telegraph on Saturday, after adding a sixth stage, a hilltop finish to another stage and adding over 4000m of climbing to the tour overall.
At the start of the race in Beccles, pupils from the local schools, local cycling club members and local business staff will take part in a lead out ride.
Fans waiting at the finish line in Stowmarket are can look forward to a carnival atmosphere of barbecues, ice cream and cheering crowds.