Top twenty for ORICA-SCOTT on the opening stage of the Women’s Tour

Wed 7 Jun 2017

A windswept opening stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour unfolded today with ORICA-SCOTT sprinter Sarah Roy finishing in the top twenty as the bunch sprinted behind the late breakaway.

A challenging and rolling stage began in sunny yet windy conditions with crowds lining the streets at the start in Daventry. Young Australian Georgia Baker was unfortunately forced to abandon the race early on due to illness with the remaining five ORICA-SCOTT riders focusing their energies on keeping Roy in a good position.

The race stayed together throughout most of the stage before Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3) attacked with around 50kilometres remaining and held off the field for the solo stage win.

Crashes affected the chase of the peloton with both Gracie Elvin and Jenelle Crooks held up in the final 30kilometres before regrouping and rejoining the chase to try and get Roy back in contention.

“It was quite a typical first stage of a Tour,” said Elvin. “The wind was changing direction, it was choppy and then started to speed up dramatically when we hit the tailwind. When Niewiadoma attacked we tried to chase straight away, but no other teams wanted to join in at that stage.”

“Sarah rode well and stayed in a good position throughout the stage, but the final was really scrappy and difficult to maintain momentum. There is still along way to go and more opportunities to come for a good stage result.”

Originally coming into the race with an open plan, the focus will now shift to stage results for the Australian outfit as sport director Martin Barras explained.

“First and foremost our congratulations go to Niewiadoma and WM3,” said Barras. “It was an outstanding move by them and hats off to their tactics and execution today. Obviously for us the stage didn’t pan out according to our plan or expectations and that will force us to reassess how we go about achieving our goals over the next four days.”

“It is clear that we need to target stage wins and high stage finishes and that will now take precedence for the remainder of the race and starting from tomorrow that will be our focus.

“Tomorrow is going to be an interesting stage, the parcours is really challenging and will act as a perfect prelude to Friday’s stage.”

How it happened:

The 2017 women’s Tour of Britain got underway in Daventry today with a 147kilometre opening stage to Kettering. Strong winds and rain had battered the U.K in the days leading up to the race, however a breezy, but beautiful sunny morning welcomed the riders to the start.

Large crowds lined the streets through the neutral zone as the peloton started to set a steady pace after the flag drop.

Still together after 50klometres of racing, the bunch enjoyed a strong tailwind over the picturesque, rolling country lanes towards Kettering.

The situation remained the same as the bunch passed through the feedzone at 80kilometres until Niewiadoma jumped clear with 50kilometres remaining and started to develop an advantage.

The Polish champion extended her lead past three minutes as the peloton struggled to mount an organised chase.

Crashes and wind affected the final 20kilometres with the bunch finally managing to organise a chase on the approach to the finale.

ORICA-SCOTT had Rachel Neylan and Crooks involved in the chase, but it was too late as Niewiadoma took the win some two minutes ahead of the field with Roy sprinting to 19th from the chasing peloton.

OVO Energy Women’s Tour stage one results:

1. Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3) 03:51:39

2. Mariane Vos (WM3) 00:01:42

3. Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) 00:01:42

4. Sarah Roy (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:01:49

Photos courtesy of ©