World and Olympic road champion Marianne Vos, the woman many believe to be the world's most complete bike rider, male or female, will be back on British roads in May when she takes part in the inaugural edition of the Women's Tour.
The presence of Vos, who beat Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead to win Olympic gold in the road race at London 2012, was confirmed this morning by organisers SweetSpot.
Her participation, and that of her Rabiobank Liv team, currently ranked number one in the world, reflects the stature of the new race as among the top-ranked women's events on the calendar.
Vos said: "It's great that we get a big new stage race on our calendar with The Women's Tour. The times that I've raced in Great Britain – with of course the London Olympic Games fresh in my mind – I have been amazed by the huge crowds and the enthusiastic people.
"I'm sure it will be a fantastic event and I'm looking forward to competing here with the best riders from all over the World.”
Still aged only 26, Vos has emerged over the past decade as the dominant rider in women's cycling, with multiple world championships on the road, track and in cyclo-cross.
With the Women's Tour taking part in the eastern counties of England, we'd expect a few of her Dutch fans to make the trip across the North Sea to cheer her on.
The five stages have been confirmed as follows:
Stage 1, May 7: Oundle to Northampton
Stage 2, May 8: Hinckley to Bedford
Stage 3, May 9: Clacton-on-Sea
Stage 4, May 10: Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City
Stage 5, May 11: Harwich to Bury St Edmunds
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.