Women's Tour: Dani King excited ahead of inaugural British five-say stage race
Last Updated: 07/05/14 11:05am
Ninety-six cyclists will make history on Wednesday when they start the first ever Women's Tour of Britain in Oundle, Northamptonshire.
One is Britain's London 2012 gold medal winner Dani King who will be racing as part of a star-studded field.
Eleven of the top 14 professional women's teams will take part in the race, which runs from 7-11 May.
The opening stage will be from Oundle to Northampton, with Leicestershire, Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire all hosting subsequent stages in the event, before the final stage finishes in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
The five-day event has attracted the likes of world and Olympic champion Marianne Vos and a host of home favourites such as King, Lizzie Armitstead, Laura Trott and Lucy Garner.
Looking ahead to Wednesday's start, King said: "I'm definitely excited, I can't wait. I think it's absolutely incredible that we've got this Friends Life Women's Tour coming to Britain. It's so good to have such a high profile event in this country for women.
"It's really nice to have a work role within a team and to hopefully get that satisfaction when they pull of the win. I'm looking forward to having a job to do within the race and then just giving it everything for someone else for a change.
"I get a job to do at the beginning of the day and then execute it as best as I can for the good of the team. I'm not riding for myself so I don't have that pressure on me - so it's quite nice really."
The event takes place predominantly in the East Midlands and East Anglia, with the routes promising to produce compelling racing.
"It's really unpredictable," King said. "I think it's quite rolling terrain over the next five days; the weather will have a large impact of how the race pans out.
"I think it will be really exciting because it's really unpredictable - I don't know if it's going to come down to bunch sprints, small groups or breakaways."
The Women's Tour is Britain's first international level stage race for women in the UK. The event is ranked at the 2.1 level by the UCI, the sport's governing body, putting it alongside the Ladies Tour of Qatar, Giro Rosa and La Route de France, as one of the world's top-ranked multi-day races for women.
King said: "It's incredible that it could potentially be the biggest women's stage race and to have that in Britain is phenomenal. Looking forward hopefully it will be part of the race calendar every year. It's really exciting to have this race here."
Organisers of the Tour are hoping that more women will be inspired to take up cycling when they see the sports best cyclists in action over the next five days. They have set up an infrastructure that would be the exactly same as it would be for the men's tour of Britain.
"I think it's incredible that that we have parity to the men in terms of price money," King added. "It's not something I really think about but I think it's important for women's racing because I don't see why there should be much difference especially if we are getting the coverage that we are getting.
"Obviously the more coverage we get the more sponsorship and I think that's important for women's cycling going forward."