Brits at the Women’s Tour – Stage 2

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Stage 2 – Braintree to Clacton

Following the accident yesterday, when a gust of wind blew her into the official photographers waiting beyond the finish line right after she’d won the start today. The Otley-born rider, with the Boels-Dolmans team, was given oxygen and placed in a neck brace following the crash and airlifted to hospital with a suspected broken femur but was released a few hours later sparking hopes that she might have been able to continue the race. Sadly this was not to be as Lizzie has chosen instead to focus on her recovery for the National Championships, where the cobbled climb to the finish suits her strengths; which left Stage 2 wide open.

With Lizzie out, the highest-placed British rider on the start line was Elinor Barker of Matrix Pro Cycling in sixth place overall, followed by Hannah Barnes of the American team United Healthcare, who started today in 14th place. Laura Trott (Matrix Pro Cycling) started in 18th place.

While there are a couple of ramps forming the two Queen of the Mountains competitions, the parcours of Stage 2 offered another chance for the sprinters to shine, being not at all dissimilar to the parcours of Stage 1 – albeit considerably longer; in fact, at 138km, it was just 2km shorter than the maximum permitted under the UCI rules for race length (which, rather archaically, insist that the maximum length of women’s races must be shorter than the maximum of men’s races).

The finish, in Clacton, used the same stretch of seafront road as Stage 3 in 2014; last year it was on that very road that Marianne Vos won her first stage of the race and gained the General Classification advantage that she then maintained for the remainder of the race before becoming the Tour’s first ever winner. Marianne’s not racing this time around as she recovers from injury (though she is there, helping Ned Boulting to introduce the stages on ITV4 – sadly unaccompanied by Sjekkie, who granted Neutral Service an interview last year, which you can read here), and with Armitstead not defending the lead she won yesterday there was a great deal to play for.

It was another exciting stage, mostly thanks to Bigla’s Vera Koedooder who accelerated away from the peloton early in the stage shortly after Elise Delzenne (Velocio-SRAM) had won the first Queen of the Mountains climb. That first attempt at a break was a brave move so early in such a log stage but, despite assistance from Orica-AIS rider Sarah Roy, it soon proved futile as the pack first caught and then swallowed them up. Koedooder, though, is one of those riders who enlivens races with her ability to attack and attack again and before too long she’d joined up with Corinne Lechner (Germany National Team) to launch another onslaught.

This time it stuck and, working together, the pair managed to find a lead as great as two minutes, more than enough to worry the peloton which quickened its pace accordingly, halving the gap some 20km from the finish. Koedooder, knowing that was her chance at glory, had by this time left Roy behind but they once again worked together to attack the second and final Queen of the Mountains: Koedooder took the lion’s share of the points on offer. Incredibly after so long out it front, she still had enough in the tank for another attack and stayed away to within 4km of the line, at which point the pack finally caught her and the teams began to arrange themselves at the front ready for another bunch sprint

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Matrix Pro Cycling’s Mel Lowther did not finish

There are many riders waiting to step into Marianne’s shoes and become the Greatest Cyclist In The World, and one of the most promising is Jolien D’hoore, the 25-year-old Belgian National Champion. D’Hoore’s intention was to lead team mate Giorgia Bronzini, who twice beat Vos at the World Championships, into the final stretch so that she could go for the victory, but upon realising the Italian was not on her wheel she went for it herself and, just as Marianne did last year, proved herself to be the strongest when she won the stage fractionally ahead of GC leader Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM). While she could not gain the overall advantage that Marianne could, her disadvantage of one second to Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) promises an electrifying stage tomorrow.

Elinor Barker, of the British team Matrix Pro Cycling, is now the leading British rider in the GC – though she was 61st today, she recorded the same time as D’hoore and is thus only 9″ behind. Hannah Barnes, of American team UHCm also in the top ten with her disadvantage of 11″ making her tenth overall. Unfortunately, Britain lost a rider today – Melissa Lowther of Matrix Pro Cycling did not finish the stage, reducing the team to five riders.

Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5

British Riders Stage 2

10 Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur)
11 Hannah Barnes (UHC)
26 Katie Curtis (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
37 Laura Trott (Matrix Pro Cycling)
46 Lucy Martin (m
47 Sharon Laws (Bigla)
50 Dani King (Wiggle-Honda)
61 Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cycling)
63 Molly Weaver (Liv-Plantur)
71 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
80 Ciara Horne (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
85 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
86 Helen Wyman (Matrix Pro Cycling)
87 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
91 Jo Rowsell (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)

Stage 2 Brits in the GC
9 Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cycling) +9″
10 Hannah Barnes (UHC) +11″
16 Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur) +12″
23 Katie Curtis (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST
28 Laura Trott (Matrix Pro Cycling) ST
41 Lucy Martin (Matrix Pro Cycling) ST
58 Sharon Laws (Bigla) ST
65 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST
68 Molly Weaver (Liv-Plantur) ST
69 Dani King (Wiggle-Honda) ST
81 Ciara Horne (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST
84 Helen Wyman (Matrix Pro Cycling) +1’48”
86 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +2’19”
87 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +3’18”
90 Jo Rowsell (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +43’26”
DNF Mel Lowther (Matrix Pro Cycling)

Overall Other Categories

Points
15 Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cyling) 3
17 Hannah Barnes (UHC) 1
18 Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur) 1

Queen of the Mountains
3 Laura Trott (Matrix Pro Cyling) 8
4 Sharon Laws (Bigla) 7
12 Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cyling) 3
15 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) 2

Youth
3 Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cyling) +1″
4 Hannah Barnes (UHC) +3″
7 Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur) +4″
9 Laura Trott (Matrix Pro Cyling) ST
16 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) ST
17 Molly Weaver (Liv-Plantur) ST
23 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International) +3’10

Stage 2 Top Ten and Overall GC

Stage 2 Top Ten
1 Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-Honda) 3h23’25”
2 Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) ST
3 Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolams) ST
4 Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) ST
5 Anouska Koster (Rabo-Liv) ST
6 Marta Tagliaferro (Ale-Cipollini) ST
7 Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) ST
8 Simona Frapporti (Ale-Cipollini) ST
9 Alexis Ryan (UHC) ST
10 Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur) ST
Full results

Stage 2 Top Ten GC
1 Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) 6’03’06”
2 Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-Honda) +1″
3 Vera Koedooder (Bigla) +6″
4 Marta Tagliaferro (Ale-Cipollini) +7″
5 Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) +8″
6 Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolams)ST
7 Coryn Rivera (UHC) ST
8 Corinna Lechner (Germany) ST
9 Elinor Barker (Matris Pro Cycling) +9″
10 Hannah Barnes (UHC) +11″
Full Stage 2 GC standing

Stage 2 Gallery

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GC leader Lisa Brennauer (© Nikki & Gethin Pearson)

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Dani King (© Nikki & Gethin Pearson)

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Jo Rowsell (© Nikki & Gethin Pearson)

 

 

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