Hannah Barnes (United Health Care) won a tight sprint to win the final stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour in Hemel Hempstead, pipping Wiggle-Honda’s Jolien D’hoore in the final metres.
Saturday's stage winner, and general classification leader, Lisa Brennauer finished in fourth place, securing overall victory after wearing yellow for three of the five stages.
The 102 kilometre route departing from Marlow was the most challenging of the week, with a number of steep climbs which succeeded in splitting the peloton a number of times.
Such terrain has not until now, been a happy hunting ground for 22-year-old Barnes, who said: “I’ve been focussing on my climbing this winter and made sure I was in a good position going into the bottom of the climbs. I was always on the right side of the splits too.
“I knew it was going to be hard around here, it’s the Chilterns, but they weren’t the Alps. I knew it was going to be four or five minute efforts, as hard as I could and then hopefully it would all calm down a bit.
“The sprint was crazy, really difficult. I got boxed with about 300 metres to go, but thankfully it opened up and I was able to open up my sprint. I got a maximum watts! Which is quite nice.”
Brennauer (Velocio- SRAM) received the yellow jersey following her second place on stage one, when Lizzie Armitstead crashed and withdrew from the race. She was consistent throughout the race, winning one stage and bagging two second places.
As with Barnes, today’s route did not suit her abilities and the team team worked hard to ensure she was in the right place on today’s stage. “It was such a hard stage, it seems like I still need to work on my climbing,” she told Cycling Weekly.
“My team did such a great job, whenever I was distanced by just a bit they brought me back. It was a crazy final and I’m just happy. This one was very hard for my teammates because they had to work so much today.”
It is Brennauer’s second stage race win of the year, having won the Energiewacht Tour in April, and the result was not expected. “I wasn’t going into this Tour with high expectations. We came out with nothing last year, so every day we were on the podium was a great victory and now the yellow jersey is just amazing.”
Aviva Women’s Tour stage five: Marlow - Hemel Hempstead
1 Hannah Barnes (GB) United Heath Care 2-40- 51
2 Jolien D’Hoore (Bel) Wiggle-Honda
3 Simona Frapporti (It) Alé Cipollini
4 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio-SRAM
5 Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans
6 Sara Mustonen (Swe) Liv-Plantur
7 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
8 Katie Archibald (GB) Pearl Izumi- Sports Tours International
9 Maria Confalonieri (It) Alé Ccipollini
10 Roxanne Knetemann (NL) Rabo-Liv
Aviva Women’s Tour Final General Classification
1 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio-SRAM 15h03’24”
2 Jolien D’hoore (Bel) Wiggle-Honda +06
3 Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans +07
4 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS +13
5 Hannah Barnes (GB) United Health Care +14
6 Simona Frapporti (It) Alé Cipollini +26
7 Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies +29
8 Alexis Ryan(USA) USA +30
9 Pascale Jeuland (Fra) Poitou Charentes Futuroscope.86
10 Maria Confalonieri (It) Alé Ccipollini
Queen of the Mountains
Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica-AIS
Best Young Rider
Hannah Barnes (GB) United Health Care
Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio-SRAM
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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.
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