A successful Women’s Tour comes to a close in Wales for Mitchelton-SCOTTSun 17 Jun 2018
The fifth edition of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour proved to be a successful one for Mitchelton-SCOTT with two stage wins and three top ten finishes defining the race for the Australian team.
Stage three winner Sarah Roy closed out the final stage with seventh in the reduced bunch kick after a super-fast 120kilometres through the Welsh countryside.
Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) took the stage five win and American Coryn Rivera (Team-Sunweb) held on to seal the overall victory and Roy Mitchelton-SCOTT’s best placed on the general classification in 16th.
The Australian outfit started brilliantly with Belgian champion Jolien D’hoore taking the victory on the opening stage after a perfect lead out from the team. Australian Gracie Elvin followed D’hoore’s win with fifth place on stage two before Roy repeated the feat on stage three and sprinted to a great win out a reduced bunch.
Compatriots Alex Manly and Jess Allen provided crucial support at key moments and alongside New Zealand road and time trial champion Georgia Williams and rode consistently well throughout.
The final stage in Wales was another lumpy one with a series of tough climbs coming in the middle of the stage and it started fast, with four riders going clear early on before being caught soon after on the first climb of the day.
Major splits occurred on the climb with over half the peloton dropped and then reforming on the descent. The high pace made for exciting racing and the attacks continued over the next climb that was followed by another fast descent and a crash.
Unfortunately, Elvin was caught up in the crash and forced to withdraw as the race sped on towards the finish in Colwyn Bay, but fortunately didn’t suffer serious injury.
An elite five rider group attacked inside the closing 20kilometres but gained only 15seconds before being brought back by the bunch and another sprint finale on the cards.
And a sprint it was with Lepisto taking the stage win and Roy up there yet again, this time in seventh to round out a great week for the team.
“Today was a hard day on the bike after a big few days, lots of tired bodies. The first climb today was quite steep and Jess and Jolien did a huge amount of work to keep us in a good position for it. After the second climb, there were lots of attacks and a few dangerous moves which Alex and Georgia covered nicely.”
“It was really awful to see Gracie hit the ground so hard but a relief to see her doing okay after the race. The last five kilometres were so fast, I did my best to follow other sprinters and Alex did as much as she could - she kept coming back, so strong!
“I had good coaching from Martin in the car and was really focused on that 300metre sign. I felt things opening up on the right and got excited for a moment but waited that touch too long and missed my opportunity.
“I’m not satisfied with a top ten after all of the incredible work the whole team has put in - that makes it harder for me to brush off. It’s been fantastic to be given these opportunities from the team and it’s nice to feel I am capable, but I lacked a bit of instinct today.
“I need to learn to trust myself more. The whole team should be proud of how they raced all week, we have come a long way since last year and we’re working really well together. It’s hard to get it perfect all the time.”
Sport director Martin Vestby:
“Jolien had been feeling the after effects of here recent crash on the track and her ankle was still quite swollen, so when she crashed yesterday that made it worse and meant that she couldn’t finish today’s stage. Gracie had been riding well and crashed alone on one of the descents, she was really lucky to escape serious injury and I’m sure they will both recover well.”
“The rest of the girls did well to regroup and try to set up Sarah for a good sprint, but she ended up a little boxed in with 350metres to go and didn’t get the opening that she wanted.
“It has been a really positive week for us and even on the days that we didn’t win we were still up there competing. The team have shown real progress here, the trust and confidence they have in each other has grown and we are getting more respect from the other team’s peloton who can see we are threat now.”
OVO Energy Women’s Tour stage five results:
1. Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) 03:03:55
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance-Pro-Cycling) ST
3. Marta Bastianelli (Ale-Cipollini) ST
7. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Final general classification:
1. Coryn Rivera (Team-Sunweb) 17:52:36
2. Marianne Vos (WaowDeals-Pro-Cycling) +0:11
3. Danielle Rowe (WaowDeals-Pro-Cycling) +0:25
16. Sarah Roy (MItchelton-SCOTT) +0:39
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.