THE provisional start list for next week’s prestigious AJ Bell Women’s Tour race has been revealed.

Final preparations are underway for the elite six-day cycle race, which will be coming to Colchester and Tendring next Friday.

The star-studded field will feature Tokyo 2020 Olympic medalists, world and national champions as Britain’s most prestigious women’s cycle returns for the first time in two years.

The reigning road and time trial world champions Elisa Balsamo and Ellen van Dijk will both compete in the six-day event.

Three of Balsamo’s predecessors as world champion are also set to be on the start line in Oxfordshire, including Italian rider Marta Bastianelli, Dutchwoman Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and home favourite Lizzie Deignan.

Deignan is the race’s defending champion from 2019 and is also the only rider in Women’s Tour history to win the event twice.

Kasia Niewiadoma and Amy Pieters, who completed the final podium two years ago, will also be in action.

The provisional start list also features Tokyo 2020 medalists Elisa Longo Borghini, Marlen Reusser and Megan Jastrab and former stage winners Hannah Barnes, Christine Majerus and Sarah Roy.

Three British teams will be in action at the race.

Visitors will be welcome at Colchester’s Northern Gateway Sports Park from 9am on Friday to see the riders and support teams prepare for stage five of the event.

The peloton starts from 11.30am and sees the route wind through Colchester town centre before the riders pedal out of the borough to Ardleigh and Great Bromley.

They will ride on to Clacton, via Elmstead Market, before completing a loop of Tendring.