I have to admit, I spent the entire evening laughing about how Stage 1 of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour went down. I know, I know, Schadenfreude is a bit mean, but that was a really fun stage to “watch” online. I’m not going to spoiler it, watch the highlights below – and then I’ll tell you who I’ve picked for the Look Mum No Hands! #RiderResults Stage 2 competition, and then share the results, photos and more social media I’ve enjoyed from day 1. As always, I’ll add in more highlights as I see them.
First the 40 minute highlights from ITV4. These will be available for 30 days now, but if you’re not in the UK, you might need a VPN to see them. Of course I recommend watching them on ITV, but if you can’t do that, watch them here:
Next, very short highlights from the race, 5 minutes from the UCI, Wiggle High5’s take, and then the UCI highlights (with spoiler on the video cover, sorry!) and then the winner’s interview:
Look Mum No Hands! #RiderResults Stage 2
Every day I’m picking a different rider for the Look Mum No Hands! competition – and today’s rider is Team WNT’s Lydia Boylan. To win prizes from the Look Mum! shop, tweet them with the #RiderResults hashtag, and predict where Lydia will finish Stage 2, up until 5k to go.
If you don’t know Lydia, she’s fantastic. We picked the Irish Road Champion and trackie – the only Irish woman racing here – because she started racing road for Look Mum!’s women’s team, LMNH, and I love her attitude, and her team’s. Team WNT is a small British squad that races domestically, and takes riders to Europe to develop and learn – and in Boylan’s case, win her first UCI race at the Setmana Clasica Valenciana this year.
Off the bike, she’s this incredibly clever person, with a degree in Civil Engineering, and a master’s degree in master’s degree in Earthquake Engineering – and I really enjoy her twitter as well. You can find out more about her on her website and in WNT’s excellent team videos.
Now back to the race…
1. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Procycling, 3:51:39
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) WM3 Procycling, + 01:42
3. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans, s.t.
4. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-High5, s.t.
5. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM, s.t.
6. Christina Siggaard (Den) VéloConcept, s.t.
7. Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops, s.t.
8. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervélo-Bigla, s.t.
9. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota, s.t.
10. Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope, s.t.
I assume what happened is that when Kasia Niewiadoma jumped at 47km to go, it took everyone by surprise – and they didn’t want to chase her straight away as they thought she’d tire herself riding solo into the headwind, but also, if they caught her, Vos would counter-attack. And then, when they should have started chasing, they didn’t work together. Pretty much every race report has something along the lines of “we tried to chase but no one would work with us”, which makes me grin.
But also I think the rest of the teams looked at Boels-Dolmans, the defending champions and the strongest team, and expected them to do the bulk of the work, as is traditional, but they didn’t for some reason. Whatever happened, it was a massive mistake, and one that will cost the other GC contenders dear, as Niewiadoma and Vos are not the the riders you want in 1 and 2 on General Classification going into the tough Stage 2, designed for climbers and escape artists.
Huge congratulations to Niewiadoma – after her second place in Strade Bianche and third places in Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, it’s fantastic to see her take her first UCI win of 2017, and her first ever WorldTour win – and in such style!
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