With Neutral Service concentrating on domestic women’s cycling nowadays it was decided to cover the National Championships next week instead of the (UCI) Women’s Tour this week. However, several regular contributors are going along to the stages – so we’ll still have some original photos and news.
Stage 1 – Bury St. Edmunds to Aldeburgh
Success and disaster for Lizzie Armitstead
The race may already be over for Britain’s best hope Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) who, having crossed the finish line in first place with her arms high in the air, was apparently blown off course by a gust of wind and collided with a photographer at the side of the road. A statement released by race organisers SweetSpot says “stage winner Lizzie Armitstead appeared to lose control and veer left, clipping photographers positioned beyond the finish line.”
Stage photos below
Armitstead, who was born in the Yorkshire town of Otley and is a favourite for victory at the Nationals next week, was fitted with a neck brace and administered oxygen for half an hour before being taken to hospital by helicopter. Fortunately, fears that she had fractured a femur proved unfounded and she was released from hospital a few hours later. Although it is not yet known if she will be able to continue the race she is now back at her hotel with the rest of her team. Several other riders were also involved in the crash; there have been no further reports of injury.
The photographer she hit, Huw Williams, is a well-respected on the British cycling scene and a stalwart of women’s cycling; he has many years of experience attending races and despite some accusations on social media, neither he nor the race organisers were in any way responsible for the freak accident.
Earlier on in the stage, Heather Fischer (Team USA) crashed while riding in a six-strong break including British riders Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cycling) and Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International), but was able to continue and finished in 60th place. The break remained out in front for much of the day with Archibald dropping off and getting caught by the peloton some 15km from the line, while the remaining quartet were not caught until only 100m remained.
Armitstead was also Points victor on the stage, picking up 15. Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) took 12 and 9 respectively. Katie Hall (UHC) was Queen of the Mountains with 6 points, Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) also has 6 points and is second while Coryn Rivera (UHC) has 5 and is third. Alexis Ryan (UHC) was top Youth rider. UHC is the leading team.
Brits in the GC
No other British riders got into the top ten; however, Jolien D’hoore of British team Wiggle-Honda was fifth, recording an equal time to Lizzie’s 2h39’53”.
1 Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans)
14 Hannah Barnes (UHC)
18 Laura Trott (Matrix Pro Cycling)
24 Katie Curtis (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
25 Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur)
31 Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cycling)
41 Lucy Martin (Matrix Pro Cycling)
50 Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
61 Molly Weaver (Liv-Plantur)
66 Sharon Laws (Bigla)
76 Dani King (Wiggle-Honda)
83 Mel Lowther (Matrix Pro Cycling)
84 Ciara Horne (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
86 Helen Wyman (Matrix Pro Cycling)
89 Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
90 Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
92 Jo Rowsell (Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
In the Team standings, Matrix Pro Cycling is currently 9th in the team standings with Wiggle-Honda 12th and Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International in 16th and last place. In the Queen of the Mountains, Sharon Laws is 7th with 4 points, Elinor Barker is 8th with 3 points and Katie Archibald is 10th with 2 points. In the Points competition, Armitstead leads with 15and Barker is 10th with 3. Barker is second in the Youth category, making her the top British rider, Laura Trott is 6th, Lucy Garner is 8th, Gabriella Shaw is 14th, Molly Weaver is 18th, Mel Lowther is 22nd and Katie Archibald is 25th.
Stage 1 Top Ten
1 Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) 2h39’53”
2 Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) ST
3 Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) ST
4 Simona Frapporti (Ale-Cipollini) ST
5 Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-Honda) ST
6 Roxane Knetemann (Rabo-Liv) ST
7 Pascale Jeuland (Poitou-Charentes-Futuroscope.86) ST
8 Alexis Ryan (UHC) ST
9 Lotta Lepistö (Bigla) ST
10 Aude Biannic (Poitou-Charentes-Futuroscope.86) ST
Stage 1 Gallery
More photos to come!