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Defending champion Lizzie Deignan to defend her AJ Bell Women's Tour crown this year when the race rides into Suffolk

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British rider and current 2019 champion Lizzie Deignan will be defending her crown in The AJ Bell Women's Tour this year.

The current title holder will set off from Oxfordshire alongside 95 other riders on Monday, October 4, before reaching Suffolk for the final stage on Saturday, October 9.

Deignan, who currently rides for Trek-Segafredo, is one of most decorated cyclists in the sport. She is the only two-time champion of The Women's Tour, adding to her silver medal that she won at the Olympics in 2012 and her UCI Women's World Tour crown last year.

Ellen van Dijk. Picture: AJ Bell Women's Tour
Ellen van Dijk. Picture: AJ Bell Women's Tour

Joining her on the start line in Bicester, Oxfordshire, will be team-mate, Ellen van Dijk. The 34-year-old was recently crowned the world time trial champion in Brugge, and will be a contender for the individual time trial stage in Atherstone.

Competing to be crowned champion in Felixstowe alongside Deignan will be Kasia Niewiadoma, the winner of the race in 2017. The Canyon SRAM Racing rider finished as runner-up to her British rival in 2019, the last Women's Tour race to take place.

Niewiadoma will ride alongside her team-mate Lisa Klein, who is another experienced Women's Tour rider, despite only being 25 years old. Klein won gold for Germany at the Olympic Games this summer in the team pursuit, and also finished first in the mixed relay time trial at the world championships in Brugge.

Crowds for The Women's Tour in Stowmarket. Picture: Mecha Morton.
Crowds for The Women's Tour in Stowmarket. Picture: Mecha Morton.

Making her debut in The AJ Bell Women's Tour is Marlen Reusser. After taking silver in the time trial at this year's Olympic Games, the Alé BTC Ljubljana rider will be looking to win the stage three time trial.

Reusser will be joined by Marta Bastianelli, a former world and European road race champion, in riding for Alé BTC Ljubljana.

Belgium's Lottie Kopecky and Denmark's Emma Norsgaard are also confirmed to be taking part.

Competing for TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank when the race rolls into Haverhill for the final stage will be Lauren Stephens and Norwegian Kristen Faulkner. Stephens is a former road race champion in the United States, while Faulkner recently landed a stage win in the Ladies Tour of Norway.

Further announcements regarding which riders will be taking part will be confirmed in the lead up to the race.

Read more: All the latest Suffolk sport

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk