One of Britain’s top road racing cyclists, Emma Trott, has her sights firmly set on competing in the first ever Women’s Tour.
The 24-year-old has had a difficult start to the season while her team, Dutch professional outfit Boels Dolmans, have got off to an absolute flyer.
But now Emma is building up her training schedule and is looking to make a significant impact on the event from May 7-11, with two stages taking in the roads of Tendring.
Emma, the elder of the two Trott sisters – Laura being an Olympic gold medallist on the track – was in Clacton today to help launch stages 3 and 5 of the Women’s Tour.
Stage 3 is set to finish in Clacton while Stage 5 will head off from Harwich.
“The event is what all the girls are talking about, and haven been for some time. Getting a race like this in Britain is just huge,” she said.
“Every single team wants to compete here in the Women’s Tour. It is on a par with the men’s race, we are being treated the same and the prize money is the same – and that is the first time that has happened.
“The crowds for the Olympic cycle races in 2012 were awesome and we are all hoping that there is another fantastic turnout. It is going to be one of the major highlights of the whole season in women’s cycling.”
While some of the route goes through Emma’s home county of Hertfordshire, some – such as Tendring – will be new ground.
However, she is keen to do her homework and suss out every single section of the race for herself and her teammates.
“Obviously I want to do well myself but if Boels Dolmans are successful that’s the main thing and if another member of our team wins that’s just great,” she added.
“There are fantastic riders in every team and it will be tough. I am really looking forward to the tour and this is an opportunity to put women’s cycling on the map.”
Emma also sees it as a chance to promote cycling generally as a family pursuit.
“That’s just how Laura and I got started and we used to go along together as kids,” she said. “But it doesn’t have to be a race – it can just be about riding round the countryside at your own pace and enjoying being out there with family and friends.”
Emma is only too aware that she will always be compared to her younger sister – and her amazing achievements – but don’t be surprised if it’s the elder Trott who plays a major role in the outcome of the Women’s Tour.
In all there will be eleven of the world’s top fourteen professional women’s teams will be racing in May with a star studded field assembling in Oundle for the opening stage on Wednesday 7 May.
Mark Platt, Tendring District Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Events and Leisure Services, said that the launch in Clacton has really got everyone excited about the event.
“It is going to be fantastic that The Women’s Tour is taking place in this country and I am delighted that Tendring is involved in two of the stages,” he said.
“Having met Emma today and witnessed her enthusiasm for this elite event I am sure that our residents are in for a treat – along with the many spectators who will come in from outside.
“I think there may be a few people adopting Emma as their favourite and getting behind her team. It would be great to see her do really well.”
Guy Elliott, from Women’s Tour organisers SweetSpot, commented: “The support for the first ever Women’s Tour from Tendring has been superb, and locals and visitors alike can now look forward to welcoming some of the world’s top riders, not once, but twice in the space of three days.
“I am sure following Emma’s visit she can also look forward to some extra local support on the day.”
Once the professional cyclists get under way from Harwich on May 11 they will be followed by the Tour de Tendring at 10.30am.
There will be 6-mile, 20-mile and 60-mile routes on offer and organisers are hoping to top last year’s entry of more than 1,200 riders.
For further information on how to sign up go to www.bike-events.com
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