Google Maps helps Lucy Garner finish fifth on Women’s Tour stage two

Pre-race preparation proves useful as double junior world road race champion comes third in bunch kick in Bedford.

Lucy Garner attributed her fifth-place finish on her home stage of the Women’s Tour today in part to online mapping websites.

The longest leg of the inaugural edition started in her home county of Leicestershire, and passed the Cosby home of the 19-year-old’s parents en route to the finish on Bedford’s Embankment.

However, it was satellite imagery, and not local knowledge, that helped her to place in the top six for the second-consecutive stage.

“Luckily I got in a good position for the bottom corner with around 400 metres to go – we saw it on Google Maps yesterday, but I didn’t realise it was that tight,” she told Cycling Weekly. “It was pretty hectic and it split up a bit coming out of therse so I had to fight my way up.”

That Garner was only beaten by world and Olympic champion Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) and proven victor Amy Pieters (riding for the Netherlands, but normally a team-mate of the Briton at Giant-Shimano), showed how well she had fared in the closing kilometres.

She said: “Rabo were working to try and get the break back in the final kilometres. That made it a lot easier, actually, because it was strung out from there. It’s a lot safer, too.

“I was up near the front of the bunch and Katie [Archibald] was really helpful today and so determined to help me stay there.”

Garner added that her family held a party at their house to greet the race, before they hotfooted it to Bedford to greet her en masse at the finish.

“It was amazing, the whole way round I heard people screaming my name,” Garner added.

“I was smiling constantly. I was at the front of the peloton through Cosby so I was there to wave to everybody.”