Hannah Barnes has moved back into the Best British rider jersey on yesterday’s penultimate stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in Chesterfield. Barnes sprinted to second in the group, fifth on the stage, after a three-rider breakaway could not be reeled in. The stage was won by Sarah Roy (OGE).
Heavy rain and wind were the conditions for much of the 123km stage in the Peaks District. A four-rider breakaway went clear around the mid-point of the stage. With a threatening change on the general classification when the breakaway had over two minutes advantage a hard chase began. However, despite WM3 Cycling, Cervelo-Bigla and CANYON//SRAM Racing chasing, the breakaway riders kept a 17 second lead sprinting to the line for the stage win, ahead of Barnes further back in fifth place.
Following the stage Director Sportif Barry Austin said the team had high ambitions on what ended being another tough stage where all riders were pushed to the limit. “For our team we had a three-pronged goal of wrestling back the Best British rider’s jersey, winning the stage and moving into GC.”
“It may sound like it was a widespread goal, but laying out a plan to be “in it to win it” in crucial parts of the race would put Hannah into a position to achieve all of the above. The team did this just up to the final few kilometres when there was not enough combined firepower in the chase back from the bunch.”
Going into the final stage today Hannah Barnes holds the Best British Rider Jersey and sits fifth on the general classification 1:41 minutes behind tour leader Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3). The 62km London stage takes in the iconic landmarks of London including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall and starts at 15:30 local time.
“It will be a tough one as the gaps are still small and the battle for bonus seconds might hot up to secure the overall classifications. The team is up for it and will go into the stage guns blazing assisting Hannah,” said Austin.