After the cancellation of the Women’s Tour last month (originally due to take place from 8 to 13 June), the first virtual Women’s Tour has got underway on RGT Cycling.
The Skoda V-Women’s Tour, as it’s officially known, features 18 of the world’s top teams. Three riders from each team are competing across three stages, with racing concluding on Friday 19 June.
Dani Christmas of the Lotto-Soudal Ladies team took victory on stage one ahead of Illi Gardner (CAMS-Tifosi) and Amelia Sharpe (Team Breeze).
As well as the overall leader’s jersey, there are also titles for the leading British rider and best young rider up for grabs.
Virtual Women’s Tour 2020 stages
Hosted on RGT Cycling, the 18 teams are competing across three courses at 7pm each evening on June 17-19.
RGT Cycling is an indoor cycling app that allows riders to train – or, in this case, race – on virtual reality courses modelled on real roads.
RGT Cycling is an indoor training app with virtual reality courses modelled on real roads. RGT Cycling
Stage one’s 38.7km virtual course followed the closing stages of the 2014 Women’s Tour route to Bury St Edmunds, used for the inaugural edition of the race.
Stage two’s 35.4km route replicates the hilltop finish of the 2019 circuit in Burton Dassett, Warwickshire, and will see riders complete three ascents of the 1.7km climb, with an average 4.9 per cent gradient.
The final stage on Friday will be in London’s Canary Wharf. The criterium race will take in 35 laps of the 1km circuit, which was used as the conclusion to the inaugural Tour Series race.
Ride the stages on RGT Cycling
You’ll also be able to ride or race the stages yourself on RGT Cycling.
There’s a suggested donation of £5 to charities Breast Cancer Now and Mind. With RGT currently free to use during the coronavirus pandemic, the series will be hoping to raise much-needed funds.
The three stages can either be completed solo using RGT’s Open Roads feature, or as group rides and fan races at specific times.
How to watch the virtual Women’s Tour 2020
If you’ve been missing your racing fix this season, the virtual Women’s Tour is being broadcast live on the BBC Sport website, BBC Sport app and BBC iPlayer (UK only), and will be available on other platforms too.
The Women’s Tour Facebook page will be streaming racing live, as will its YouTube channel, The Tour TV.
In North America, racing will be broadcast on subscription platform Fubo TV.
Team list and riders
Eighteen teams with three riders each will be competing on the virtual roads of the UK over the three days of racing.
Biehler Krush Pro Cycling: Marissa Baks, Roos Hoogeboom, Laura van Regenmortel
Bigla Katusha: Lizzy Banks, Emma Norsgaard Jørgensen, Maria Vittoria Sperotto
Bizkaia Durango: Lizzie Holden, Alice Maria Arzuffi, Cristina Martinez
Boels Dolmans Cycling Team: Katie Hall, Jip van den Bos, Eva Buurman
CAMS-Tifosi: Illi Gardner, Katie Scott, Jo Tindley
Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling: Katharina Hechler, TBC, TBC
Drops: Joss Lowden, Emily Meakin, April Tacey
FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope: Stine Borgli, Victorie Guilman, Shara Marche
Great Britain: Megan Barker, Anna Doherty, Jenny Holl
Hitec Products Birk Sport: Julie Solvang, Mieke Kröger, Lucy van der Haar
Lotto Soudal Ladies: Dani Christmas, Danique Braam, Teuntje Beekhuis
NXTG Racing: Rozemarijn Ammerlaan, Cathalijne Hoolwerf, Britt Knaven
Rally Cycling: Krista Doebel-Hickok, Heidi Franz, Leigh Ann Ganzar
ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy: Megan Dickerson, Louise Gibson, Rebecca Richardson
Storey Racing: Dame Sarah Storey, Corrine Hall, Lucy Gadd
Team Breeze: Ella Barnwell, Anna Shackley, Amelia Sharpe
Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank: Leah Dixon, Lauren Stephens, Kirsten Faulkner
Trek-Segafredo: Abi van Twisk, Tayler Wiles, Ruth Winder
We’ve already seen plenty of racing so far this year on Zwift and Rouvy, but this is the first time Road Grand Tours has hosted a professional event, and we’re looking forward to tuning in.