Stage 2 of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour was billed as the Queen Stage, and at 144km long, in wind and rain, was a brutal day. But how did it play out?
I’ve got video highlights, and then I’ll tell you about the rider I’ve picked for the Look Mum No Hands! #RiderResults competition, and after that, give you the full results, photos and other media.
I’ll add in more videos as I see them – and watch out for spoilers just below, because what we have now gives away the results!
Here are the 40 minute highlights from ITV4. These will be available for 30 days, but if you’re not in the UK, you might need a VPN to see them. I really want people to try ITV first, for the stats, but if you can’t see them, they’re also here on YouTube.
Highlights from the race, the UCI, and the race’s press conference videos:
Look Mum No Hands! #RiderResults Stage 3
Every day I’m picking a different rider for the Look Mum No Hands! competition – all you have to do is tweet them with the #RiderResults hashtag, and predict where the rider will finish Stage 3, up until 5k to go, and you could win win prizes from the Look Mum! shop.
Today’s rider is Audrey Cordon-Ragot of Wiggle High5. This French woman is currently in the Queen of the Mountains jersey, but her priority won’t be defending it, because she is the Wiggle road captain and one of the top domestiques out there, who doesn’t necessarily get as much recognition as she should, because her team mate Elisa Longo Borghini is so good at getting into breaks, so there aren’t the images of Cordon-Ragot gurning as she chases back, etc, but she’s been working hard to get to the break point, and doing all she can to support the breaks.
But wow, she’s valuable. A rider who loves to attack, she’ll do everything she can for the team, and we saw her in Stage 1 doing her valiant best to chase down Kasia Niewiadoma, even though other teams wouldn’t work with her, because while she has strength, she’ll fight. I love watching her attack
She’s got a superb social media – she’s the type of rider who will say what she thinks on her twitter, calling out actions she doesn’t like, which is always fun, but she’s also the type of rider who, if she can’t ride a race, will be “watching” on twitter with the rest of us, engaging with fans and cheering on team-mates. So where will she come on Stage 3? Will she keep the QoM or sacrifice it? Can she get into the breaks where we love her?
Now back to the race…
1. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans, 3:49:42
2. Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM, s.t.
3. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Sunweb, s.t.
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) WM3 Procycling, s.t.
5. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Procycling, s.t.
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5, s.t.
7. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervélo-Bigla, s.t.
8. Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops, s.t.
9. Dani King (GBr) Cylance, s.t.
10. Aude Biannic (Fra) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope, s.t.
Kasia Niewiadoma keeps her lead, with WM3 team mate Marianne Vos second behind her, and Hannah Barnes moving up into third – but there’s only 2:19 between Niewiadoma’s lead and Rossella Ratto in 30th, so anything can happen. Check out the full GC after Stage 2.
So, just like Stage 1 looked made for the sprinters, but was won in a solo break, Stage 2 looked like it was designed for climbers and breakaway riders, but it came to a (reduced) bunch sprint. I never expected that! I wonder how the rest of the race will keep surprising us?