In an exciting stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour today, Hannah Barnes sprinted to second place and moved herself onto third in the general classification. The British road champion was beaten only by Amy Pieters (DLT) for the win in Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire.
Heavy rain and winds in the first hour of racing didn’t stop aggressive action from several teams on the second day of the five-day tour. CANYON//SRAM Racing had a strong presence in many of the breaks with Elena Cecchini and later Trixi Worrack in some of the longer moves whilst teammate Lisa Brennauer tried for a solo break.
“It was a tough race. The two categorised climbs of the day were raced really hard but even before this it was an aggressive race. There were a lot of attacks for our team to be in or to create ourselves. All of us were in a move at some point in the race,” said Barnes after the stage.
Lucinda Brand (SUN) was the final rider to be caught by the peloton after attacking with 40km to go from a six rider move that Worrack had been a part of. Brand was caught with 7km remaining and a bunch sprint was set.
Barnes had been feeling good and prepared herself for the sprint. “In the final part of the race all of my teammates were the ones following the moves and working for me. It was hard to stay in position with so many different moves and attacks going.”
“It’s a really hard finish to get right and I did a little too much work coming into the last narrow section at 300m to go, but in the end I’m happy with today’s result. I’ve not been that close to a win this season so it’s a good feeling and positive sign for what our team has coming.”
Barnes now sits third on the general classification, 1:46 minutes behind leader Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3). The 150km stage tomorrow from Atherstone to Royal Leamington Spa starts at 10:00 local time and can be followed live on Twitter with #OVOWT and #UCIWWT or highlights televised on ITV4 and Eurosport each evening.