Boels-Dolmans gearing up for the Aviva Women’s Tour

Boels-Dolmans gearing up for the Aviva Women’s Tour

Boels-Dolmans gearing up for the Aviva Women’s Tour

This year’s Aviva Women’s Tour looks set to be one of the best yet with a more challenging course than its previous incarnations and a field of unprecedented strength. This year’s edition runs over five days from 15-19th June, making it one of just four multi-day stage races of the seventeen events that make up the new UCI Women’s World Tour.

The race begins in Southwold, the home of race sponsor, Adnams, before heading inland for a further four hilly stages. Despite being the shortest, Stage 3 looks like it may well be key in sorting out the general classification, with 2000m of climbing in the Peak District National Park. The worthy champion of the toughest-ever edition of the Aviva Women’s Tour will be crowned in Kettering after two more days of consistently lumpy days in the saddle.

The two words that best describe the women’s road season up to now are: “Boels Dolmans”. The Dutch-based team, riding Specialized machines, dominated the Spring Classics. If it wasn’t World Champion Lizzie Armitstead soloing or sprinting to victories, it was Chantal Blaak. Megan Guarnier has since taken up the mantle with triumph at the Tour of California, US National Championships and the Philadelphia International Cycle Classic, riding into the Women’s WorldTour leader’s jersey in the process.

Boels Dolmans is just one of sixteen teams that make up the immensely strong list of riders heading to the start line. Notable names include Miss Consistent, Emma Johanssen, Britons Dani King, Hannah Barnes, National Time Trial Champion Hayley Simmonds and former retiree, Emma Pooley. Two former winners will line up at the start in Lisa Brennauer and multiple world champion Marianne Vos.

Vos, the dutch powerhouse who has been compared to Eddy Merckx as the “finest cyclist of her generation”, missed much of the early season action, and questions were raised as to whether the Boels Dolmans story would have been the same had Vos been in attendance. However, Armitstead seemed to show who was boss at the Boels Rental Hills Classic when she dropped Vos on the final climb.

If the roadside support is anything like it has been in recent years, the race will be riding high on a party atmosphere which will be expecting fireworks in this Olympic year. With national team spots up for grabs for the hilly road race in Rio, everyone is going to be in their best form and we can be sure to see some very animated racing.

With each rider upon a flashy Specialized Amira complete with the state-of-the-art SRAM Red eTap groupset, Zipp wheels and Quarq power meters, it is difficult to look beyond the orange jerseys of Boels Dolmans for success at the British race. With Lizzie Armitstead on great form off the back of the Spring Classics and her intensive climbing training in preparation for Rio, she is sure to be a force to be reckoned with. But her teammate Megan Guarnier could also be a strong contender wrapped in the colours of the US national champion after retaining the title at the end of May. They are also surrounded by a team full of talent with heaps of potential for stage wins.

Can Boels Dolmans continue their domination? You wouldn’t bet against them.

Shop Amira women’s road bikes, including the fearsome S-Works Amira SL4 here.

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