Saffron Walden to Colchester, Friday 24 May 2024
Stage One will start in the medieval market town of Saffron Walden, in north-west Essex, and finish in the historic city of Colchester, which was the first capital of Roman Britain.
Start: Saffron Walden
Saffron Walden was known simply as Walden until around 1500, when Saffron was added to the name due to the saffron crocus trade that started in the town in the 16th century, as the plant found soil conditions there favourable. On the outskirts of Saffron Walden is Audley End House, which was built in the 17th century and was once one of the largest mansions in the country.
Colchester is both Britain’s newest city and its oldest recorded town. It became a city in 2022, as part of the late Queen’s Jubilee Civic Honours, but has a long and rich history dating back more than 2,000 years. This history includes being the first major city of Roman Britain, which was attacked and destroyed by Boudica, Queen of the ancient British Iceni tribe, in a famous uprising in AD61. The modern city still has remnants of its Roman past as well as (relatively) more recent history such as Colchester Castle, which was built in the 11th century and is the largest of its kind in Europe.
Overall race winner Charlotte Kool (Team DSM, now Team dsm-firmenich), who sprinted to victory on the city’s East Hill.