In the penultimate stage at the Aviva Women’s Tour Lisa Brennauer has sprinted to 5th place behind Marianne Vos (RWT). The break was caught in the final kilometre after hard chasing by CANYON//SRAM Racing. Second on the stage was Leah Kirchmann (LPT) with Emma Johansson third (WHT).
The fourth stage from Nottingham to Stoke-On-Trent started in fast and furious fashion. Several teams were adamant on forcing a break but with the peloton moving fast in the flatter first half nothing could be created. “Everyone was marking each other from the big teams and the only thing that could go were the one-offs. We knew then it was going to come down to the climbs in the last half of the race. It was a shame that Elena (Cecchini) crashed, it was quite nasty and the timing was poor,” said Tiffany Cromwell.
Cecchini, who suffered several road abrasions and bruises would continue the race but was unable to rejoin the main peloton. “Between the first and second QOM we made an error by not being in position for the second climb and then unfortunately we didn’t have anyone that could go when the last break went. As soon as we went over the top then we started to chase and in the end we managed to bring it back so Lisa could get across and sprint. We stuck to our plan so from a team effort it was good. I think we can be happy with our race. We wanted to win of course but we committed to the situation we found ourselves in,” said Cromwell.
After the race Lisa Brennauer said she didn’t have the legs to overcome Vos in the drag uphill sprint. “I jumped with Vos to the group of four and when we arrived we had to have a little breather because we were both on the limit. Then others joined us and the sprint immediately started. We more or less stayed the same position that we went into the final corner. I didn’t have the punch on the final uphill finish.”
Cromwell, who has shown a turn of form in Philadelphia and Aviva Women’s Tour, said she’s happy with her racing. “I think my overall performance is better now and the altitude training last month has helped. I’m in good form now and getting back to my best. It’s been a tough last couple of months for me. It hasn’t been enjoyable racing when you’re not in good form or head space and it’s no fun being down the back of the peloton. So I’m happy to be back to my best, to contribute to the team and to be back at the front playing where I know I’m capable of playing.”
Brennauer is now 8th on the general classification and 44 seconds behind the yellow jersey of Lizzie Armistead (DLT). Tomorrow’s final stage from Northampton to Kettering starts at 10:45 BST and can be followed live on the team’s Twitter @WMNcycling using #AvivaWT2016. A one hour highlight program is broadcast each evening on ITV4 as well as worldwide broadcasts in Australia (Fox), France (L’Equipe), and the USA (NBC Sports).