SOME of the greatest cyclists in the world will descend on Colchester on Monday at the start line of a prestigious race.

The Women’s Tour, Britain’s leading UCI Women’s WorldTour event, will begins in Colchester on Monday morning, before concluding on June 11 in Oxfordshire.

It will see a total of 108 professional bikers from 18 different teams go head-to-head and wheel-to-wheel as they hunt down one of cycling’s most revered prizes.

Setting off from Colchester Sports Park, in Cuckoo Farm Way, at 11am, the pack of athletes will travel through the town before heading to Layer-de-la-Haye.

READ MORE: When will the Women's Tour event to start in Colchester?

They will then make their way to Langenhoe and Fingringhoe before biking through Rowhedge, Hythe, Greenstead and Ardleigh.

The cyclists will venture out of Colchester and into Manningtree before heading to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, where this stage will finish.

As a result of the way the route is set-out, the event will take in many of Colchester’s most historic landmarks, including the Jumbo Water Tower and Colchester Castle.

Mick Bennett, race director of the Women’s Tour said: “We are delighted to be returning to Colchester for the start of this year’s Women’s Tour.

“This year’s route will again take us through the heart of the historic town centre to bring the race and these world-class athletes to people - we can’t wait to get going.”

Gazette: Elisa Longo Borghini during the Women's TourElisa Longo Borghini during the Women's Tour

Former champions Kasia Niewiadoma and Coryn Labecki will be joined by past stage winners Lorena Wiebes, Christine Majerus and Chloe Hosking on the start line.

Niewiadoma, who triumphed in 2017 and finished second two years later, will start off among the favourites for this year’s title.

The Polish rider, who competes for the Canyon//SRAM Racing team, is also two-time Women’s Tour stage winner.

One of the best climbers in the peloton, Niewiadoma will be one to watch on stage five, which finishes atop the Black Mountain in Carmarthenshire.

Labecki succeeded Niewiadoma as overall champion and will lead a Team Jumbo – Visma squad that also features British star Anna Henderson.

A former American national champion, the 29-year-old has previously won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Tour of Flanders, as well as stage in the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile.