We’ve just about dried out from the first-ever Women’s Tour of Scotland, which took place last weekend from the 9th-11th of August.
The three day, three-stage race featured many of the world’s top women’s professional teams, and we were delighted to be the Official Kit Supplier. This meant the professional leader’s, Queen of the Mountain, Queen of the Sprint and Young Rider jerseys were all produced by Scimitar.
We wanted to stamp our very own footprint on the inaugural cycling event. It would become the first ever UCI cycling event to have the leader’s jerseys made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
From the outset, the weekend became a celebration of women’s cycling, traversing five cities and plenty of countryside along the 350km route. In another groundbreaking move, this was the first UCI women’s cycle race to offer parity of prize money equivalent to a men’s race from day one.
Anyway, on to the event.
At 12:15 on Friday, the Tour began in Dundee. Unfortunately, the rain played its part from the start, leading to the activities and our very own merchandise stand being postponed for the day. This didn’t deter the race directors and event organisers, who went on BBC Breakfast to confirm the race would start as planned.
Stage 1 was a 103km route from Dundee to Dunfermline, featuring three sprints and two QOM climbs. Due to the rain, the peloton stayed together for a large amount of the stage.
As they approached the first climb, 18 riders dropped off the back of the peloton due to a surge in pace. It wasn’t to last though, as once they reached the summit, the breakaway came back towards the peloton. As conditions worsened, the race official acted. The level of standing water (up to 6ft in some places) forced officials to make the difficult decision to abandon the first stage. The safety of the riders was, and always will be, paramount to the officials.
This meant there was no overall stage winner; which was a shame for us as the official kit supplier. There was no-one wearing the coveted yellow Baillie Gifford leader’s jersey on the podium! We did, however, finish the stage with two jerseys on the podium. Stage 1 QoS (Queen of Sprints) Eugenia Bujak, and QoM (Queen of Mountains) Cecile Uttrup Ludwig. This was the first sight of our 100% recycled podium jerseys, and would ensure we saw Scimitar jerseys on Stage 2!
The next day saw a complete flip in the weather, to the delight of the riders, spectators and our merchandise team! Starting in sunny Glasgow, we had a prime position next to the start line to sell our official Women’s Tour of Scotland merchandise, which you can purchase here.
Beginning at 11:15am, the group set off for Perth with three sprints, one mountain climb and 139.4km ahead. Not the average Saturday for you or me. Bujak & Ludwig were kitted out in their official stage leader’s pro recycled jerseys, which we saw for the very first time.
On to the Stage. After a tough climb early on, the peloton splintered into several groups. With less than 10km until the end of Stage two, Brodie Chapman was a lone leader with a 9 second gap, reduced from 1 minute 20 seconds 20km after an aptly timed breakaway earlier.
With 3km remaining, the leading pack were bunched and it led to a dramatic finish, with Alison Jackson sprinting over the finish line to take the win! Two stages down, and the exciting news that we’d be seeing our recycled leader’s jersey for the very first time on Sunday. Emma White, from Rally UHC Cycling, took the Deloitte Best Young Rider Jersey for her second-place effort. The 21-year-old described the stage as been “bittersweet”. Continuing to hold the Queen of the Mountains was Cecile Uttrup Ludwig, while the new Queen of Sprints was Leah Thomas.
Heading into Sunday, we would see the Final Stage start and finish in Edinburgh. A 118.3km route lay ahead, consisting of 3 sprints and 4 mountain routes to climb. It was a proud moment for Scimitar, with the Race Leader, QoS, QoM and Young Rider from Stage 2 all start the event in their official recycled jerseys.
Stage 3 was a constant battle, with a number of riders attempting to get clear of the peloton. Ann-Sophie Duyck managed to leap to a 95 second lead, but the exert of energy would pay as she was caught on the climb with less than 15km to go. Leah Thomas managed to get ahead and keep at it, winning Stage 3 for Bigla Pro Cycling Team. Leah was accompanied to the podium by Alison Jackson and Stine Borgli.
The event has been an incredible celebration of women’s cycling, and the competitiveness of the sport. We couldn’t be more delighted to be involved in an event that promotes sustainability and gender parity in sport.
Despite a setback with the weather, it showcased Scotland as a prime location for competitive and professional cycling. As the Official Sportswear Partners to the event, we showcased our 100% recycled jerseys to the competitive world for the first time. We’ve created our own bit of world cycling history, and we are extremely proud of everyone at Scimitar who has worked hard to get us to this point.
For more information on our 100% recycled jerseys for clubs, charities and events, please click here.
For an insight into the Women’s Tour of Scotland, don’t forget to check out the highlights tonight (13th August) on BBC Scotland and iPlayer from 19:30. Keep your eye out for the ITV4 highlights on 25th August at 11:00!