The Women's Tour
Stage 1: Oundle - Northampton - Stage Details

Emma Johansson scored her fourth win of the season, sprinting to victory on the opening stage of the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour. The Swedish all-rounder edged out World Champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv) in a hotly contested field sprint to pull on the yellow leader’s jersey in Northampton. Johansson will head into the second stage of the five day British tour with a 4” advantage over Vos.

Rossella Ratto (Estado de México-Faren Kuota) launched the first significant breakaway attempt between the initial intermediate sprint and the first Strava Queen of the Mountain. She stretched out her advantage to nearly a minute before the bunch closed the gap, overtaking her with 50 kilometres left to race.

The peloton stayed together until they hit Althrop Estate. The narrow roads and rough pavement put the peloton under pressure. The bunch split, and Elise Delzenne (Specialized-lululemon) went on the attack. She remained up the road for the second YodelDirect Sprint, scooping up the bonus seconds for first across the line. 

Neither Vos nor Armitstead made move at that point in the race. Instead, they sent their teammates to the front to chase down Delzenne, who had 45” in hand over the second QOM. Rabobank-Liv and Boels-Dolmans collaborated at the front, reeling Delzenne back just past the two kilometre to go mark.

Armitstead was the first to open the sprint. The British National Champion jumped 450 metres from the line. Johansson stuck onto Armitstead's wheel until Vos powered past the duo. Johansson jumped across to Vos, overtaking her ahead of the line. 

"I didn’t believe it at first. I was on Marianne’s wheel, and when I could come around her, I thought: ‘Wow, I’m actually going to beat her in a sprint.’ Marianne has a really good sprint, so I was quite surprised. I can sprint obviously – especially when it’s been technical or hard or cold like it was today. Still, I can hardly believe it.” - Emma Johansson

“We all sat down before the race and discussed our tactics. The idea was that we would let the teams that had the pressure to perform feel that pressure. We were keen to manage the situation to alleviate any responsibility or pressure that we felt in the interest of the opportunities this would create for us later. This plan worked out really well – almost too well – because Emma ended up winning the race. No one is going to sit here and complain about winning a stage in a big tour like this one, but it certainly puts us in a position where we can no longer take advantage of the expectations on other teams and riders. Expectations now fall on us.” - Sport Director Martin Barras

 


Results

Place Rider/Team Time
1 Emma Johansson (Swe) - ORICA-AIS 2:28:29
2 Marianne Vos (Ned) - Rabo Liv women cycling team ST
3 Hannah Barnes (GBr) - UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling ST
4 Trixi Worrack (Ger) - Specialized Lululemon ST
5 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) - Wiggle Honda ST
6 Lucy Garner (GBr) - Great Britain ST
7 Elena Cecchini (Ita) - Estado de Mexico Faren ST
8 Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) - Boels Dolmans cycling team ST
9 Amy Pieters (Ned) - Netherlands ST
10 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) - Specialized Lululemon ST
Place Mitchelton-SCOTT Riders Time
1 Emma Johansson (Swe) - ORICA-AIS 2:28:29
33 Annette Edmondson (Aus) - ORICA-AIS ST
35 Gracie Elvin (Aus) - ORICA-AIS ST
52 Valentina Scandolara (Ita) - ORICA-AIS ST
53 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) - ORICA-AIS ST
57 Shara Gillow (Aus) - ORICA-AIS ST