Johansson fourth and Hoskins queen of the mountain on stage two of Aviva Women's TourThu 18 Jun 2015
Swedish champion Emma Johansson has claimed fourth place in another bunch sprint on stage two of the Aviva Women’s Tour today.
Meanwhile, track world champion Melissa Hoskins will enjoy her first ever stint in a mountain classification jersey having picked up minor points on both opportunities during the day.
“I think this is going to be a first,” Hoskins joked. “Yesterday on the first climb it just happened that I went over the top first so I got some points.”
“After that I was equal first but on count back I wasn’t in the jersey so we thought as a team objective early in the Tour we would give it a crack and have a bit of fun on a stage given we didn’t have any big plans to do anything special.
“We will have to see how the legs feel but obviously our major objective is the general classification and if that means giving up the jersey then I am more than happy to because yellow is better than polkadots.”
After her sprint for fourth today, Johansson sits fifth overall, eight seconds behind Lisa Brennauer (Velocio SRAM) who retained the lead she started the day with courtesy of the withdrawal of yesterday’s stage winner Lizzie Armistead (Boels Dolmans CT).
Sport director Martin Barras is confident there are still many opportunities for the 31-year-old make up the deficit.
“Fourth for Emma is a reasonably good result,” Barras said. “It doesn’t give us any time bonuses so we drop a position on general classification but we will just reassess how we go about the next three days.”
“Things were always going to start changing as we get deeper into the Tour. Riders start getting tired and the stages get a little bit tougher.
“The reality is that we are still in contention, just the gap has opened up a little. The nature of the course here is that it is going to be a battle for seconds but we get a bit more of an opportunity over the next three days as the course gets a little more challenging.”
Two riders formed the break of the day after 40km of racing and reached an advantage of almost four minutes before a puncture saw them swiftly drop to under three minutes.
Team USA then picked up the chase and had the race all but back together as the race headed towards 10km to go.
Hoskins claimed third and second on the two classified climbs to move into the mountain's polkadot jersey.
Tomorrow’s stage three is a 139.2km journey from Oundle to Kettering.