OLYMPIC time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten has confirmed that she will be racing in Colchester and Tendring as part of the Women’s Tour next month.

The Movistar Team rider, who recently clinched the Ladies Tour of Norway, announced her end of season programme.

It will see her return to the UK’s biggest professional women’s race for the first time since 2014.

Van Vleuten took the gold medal in the Tokyo individual time trial to go with silver from the road race before returning to Europe to win the one-day Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa the following weekend and the four-stage Norwegian tour last month.

Twelve of the world’s top 15 teams will be among those in action at this year’s Women’s Tour from September 4 to 9.

Colchester and Clacton will host the penultimate stage, which will see teams race from Colchester to the coast on Friday, October 8.

The race has been rescheduled from its traditional June calendar position due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Van Vleuten said: “Time trialling is an important part of cycling – it is a Olympic discipline – but we don’t have many opportunities to ride them, so I’m really excited that the Women’s Tour has added one.

“This type of stage is good for me – but it’s also good for the future of cycling, younger athletes can learn so much by doing them.

“The Women’s Tour is such a great event – I still get goosebumps when I think about how many schoolchildren line the side of the roads.

“I hope that this is the case once again in October.”

As a double world and multiple Dutch time trial champion ,van Vleuten is sure to be among the favourites for the stage three individual time trial at the Women’s Tour.

Alex Porter, Tendring Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said the Women’s Tour was always a fantastic boost to the area.

“We know from the previous years we have hosted this elite race just what a spectacle it is, an event enjoyed by both dedicated cycling fans and newcomers to the sport as well,” he said.

“As well as being a boost for businesses as spectators flock to the area to enjoy the event, this also captures the imagination and inspires people to dust off their bikes and take up cycling, which is good for the environment and your health.”