Sports

Women’s Tour cycling: Lorena Wiebes dusts down to take stage two victory | Women’s Tour


Lorena Wiebes bounced back from an opening-day crash to take victory on stage two of the Women’s Tour.

The Dutch rider underlined why she had been the hot favourite 24 hours earlier as she easily powered clear to win a sprint finish with room to spare at the end of the 92km stage that started and finished in Harlow. Barbara Guarischi edged out Shari Bossuyt in a battle for second place, while stage one winner Clara Copponi rolled home in sixth to retain the overall lead.

Wiebes, who came into this race on the back of her victory in the RideLondon Classique at the end of last month, finished 85th on Monday after a late crash, but had no such troubles a day later. That was despite her DSM teammates being left out of position by a crash in the final 10km, leaving Wiebes to ride the wheels herself before launching her attack. “If you smell the finish line, I guess you have more motivation,” the 23-year-old said.

Wiebes’s victory moved her up to third overall, four seconds off Copponi in yellow and one second behind Maike van der Duin in second place – although Wednesday’s rolling stage from Tewkesbury to Gloucester could produce more significant gaps.

This stage had been animated by Sammie Stuart, the 31-year-old firefighter making her debut in the race, as she attacked midway through the day to go solo. But after the Cams-Basso rider was caught with 20km to go, Lily Williams and Gladys Verhulst tried a counterattack, holding only a slim advantage over the peloton even as a crash split the chasing group, putting some of the DSM riders out of position.

Gladys Verhulst leads out the climb at Toot Hill.
Gladys Verhulst leads out the climb at Toot Hill. Photograph: Nicholas T Ansell/PA

The leading duo were caught inside the final three kilometres as the sprinters lined up, but once Wiebes attacked, nobody else could live with her power.

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish will return to the British national road championships later this month as part of a line-up in Dumfries and Galloway that includes all five defending champions from last year’s races in Lincoln. Thirty-four time Tour de France stage winner Cavendish is on the start list of the men’s race alongside two-time defending champion Ben Swift, as well as riders including Fred Wright, Owain Doull, Jake Stewart, Ethan Hayter and Olympic track champion Matt Walls.

Defending champion Pfeiffer Georgi headlines the start list for the women’s road race, in which she will be up against the likes of Anna Shackley, Anna Henderson, Alice Barnes and Josie Nelson. Both road races will take place on 26 June, with the men’s race contested over 201 kilometres and the women’s over 128km.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.