Jolien D’hoore won today’s second stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour, taking the win in a sprint finish from race leader Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM). The stiff breeze along the undulating 138-kilometre course failed to break up the peloton and it was left for a large group to fight for the win along Marine Parade in Clacton-on-Sea.
The 25-year-old Belgian had been hoping to lead out her Wiggle-Honda team mate Giorgia Bronzini, but the two became separated in the final corner, 250 metres from the line.
“She told me to go from the corner, and she would see if she was on my wheel,” D’hoore told reporters after the race. “I gave it everything until the finish. It was pretty close in the end, it was uphill and a headwind, but it was enough to get a win.”
Today was D’hoore’s second win since returning from a mid-season break and consolidates her fantastic form in the Spring Classics, where she took three wins. She has blossomed this year since arriving at Wiggle-Honda, “I feel pretty good, I am getting a little stronger, but I also have a strong team around me. You can never win a race alone, you need a team and that’s happening this year.”
Lizzie Armitstead’s withdrawal from the race following yesterday’s crash left Brennauer wearing the yellow jersey at the start in Braintree. The German admitted to having felt odd wearing the jersey this morning.
“It’s never nice if someone gets harmed in a crash and it felt quite weird to wear the yellow jersey today. I’m happy that I can wear it tomorrow and I feel sorry for what happened to Lizzie yesterday.”
The highest placed British rider was Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur), who finished 10th. The 20-year-old was not pleased with her performance.
“My team mates were there, but I was too far back and had to do about three sprints before,” Garner told Cycling Weekly. “My form is really good at the moment, I don’t know if I want it too badly and mess it up. I’m doing the best watts ever in my sprints in training, I just need to get myself in there.”
Tomorrow’s stage between Oundle and Kettering in Northamptonshire, is the longest of the Tour at 139km, only one kilometre short of the UCI limit for a women’s stage.
Armitstead: ‘one tough cookie’
Following her stage one crash, Armitstead was discharged from hospital yesterday evening. Though she is not seriously injured, she has withdrawn from the race. She is apparently in high spirits, however.
“We were all so worried about Lizzie,” Boels-Dolmans team mate Megan Guarnier told CW. “It was really hard to see her on the ground like that. She’s pretty banged up, but she was walking and she’s in pretty good spirits considering. She’s one tough cookie.”
Aviva Women’s Tour Stage 2: Braintree to Clacton-on-Sea
1. Jolien D’hoore (Bel) Wiggle-Honda in 2-23-25
2. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio-SRAM
3. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans
4. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
5. Anouska Koster (Ned) Rabo-Liv
6. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Alé Cipollini
7. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda
8. Simona Frapporti (Ita) Alé Cipollini
9. Alexis Ryan (USA) UnitedHealthcare
10. Lucy Garner (GBr) Liv-Plantur all same time
Overall classification after stage two
1. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Velocio-SRAM in 6-03-06
2. Jolien D’hoore (Bel) Wiggle-Honda at 1 sec
3. Vera Koedooder (Ned) Bigla Pro Cycling at 6 secs
4. Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Alé Cipollini at 7 secs
5. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS at 8 secs
6. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans at 8 secs
7. Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 8 secs
8. Corinna Llechner (Ger) Germany at 8 secs
9. Elinor Barker (GBr) Matrix Fitness at 9 secs
10. Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealthcare at 11 secs