Britain’s Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur) took her first career victory in the La Route de France stage race on Monday, sprinting to victory on stage one of the 2015 edition into Briare La Canal.
It’s a second day of success for the Liv-Plantur team, after Garner’s teammate Amy Pieters took victory and the leader’s jersey in the opening prologue on Sunday. Despite having to protect the leader’s jersey through the 127.1km stage from Avon, the 20-year-old was able to utilise her team to lead her out to victory in the finale, sprinting ahead of Annette Edmondson (Wiggle-Honda) and Roxanne Fournier (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86).
It’s Garner’s first victory of the season and comes as a welcome relief after crashes saw her abandon her last two races, including La Course by Le Tour de France in Paris in July.
“I’m really happy to have won today – it has been a hard few months with a lot of crashes for me but the team have always believed in me,” Garner said after the race. “The girls had trust that I could finish it off today and get the win.
“They worked hard for me in the final and then Amy finished it off perfectly by bringing me to the finish after fighting for position in the in the last kilometres.
“After Amy’s win yesterday it is nice to keep the win within the team today as well. It was close on the line, I thought I had it but then as we came over the line I wasn’t so sure. So I’m really happy to get the win.”
Tuesday’s stage two sees the race head to Bourges from Villemandeur on a 118km route, with the conclusion taking place in Guebwiller on Saturday.