Elena Cecchini sprinted to fourth place today in a bunch sprint on the second stage of OVO Energy Women’s Tour. After twenty-five laps of the Cyclopark circuit in Kent, the stage was won by Marianne Vos (CCC) who now moves into the leader’s jersey.
Rewarded for her solo breakaway effort earlier in the stage, Cecchini won the Most Combative jersey award. After her teammate Alice Barnes made the first attack of the day on lap one, Cecchini tried herself on the sixth lap. With bonus seconds on offer four laps later, the peloton reeled in the Italian rider. A fast pace continued and the peloton sprinted to the finish in just over 1 hour 34 minutes for the 62.5km stage.
Road captain for the stage, Tiffany Cromwell, explains, “For me personally, I enjoyed the stage a lot. It was fun, fast and technical and the type of racing I enjoy most!”
“I had to make the call during the race to change our team plan after Lisa (Klein) said she didn’t feel good for the final sprint. So, after talking with the other girls we decided Elena would do the sprint. And, if Alice was able to, to try a late attack through the last corners as that was how she got away on the first lap. So we created a two-pronged plan of attack.”
“In the final lap though, it was crazily fast and really hectic which meant Alice had no chance to do that late try. We went through a lot of small gaps and we had quite a bit of contact with other riders. Luckily, we all stayed safe and Elena was glued to either mine or Kasia’s wheel. We helped as much as we could to put her in the best position possible to go for the sprint. In the end we finished just off the podium but we’re all positive and looking forward to tomorrow already,” added Cromwell.
We are seen using a special edition design, based on the Rapha Women’s 100, across it’s equipment and kit throughout the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. The special edition brings attention to the team, to the Rapha Women’s 100 scheduled for 14 September, and to one of the best stage races on the women’s calendar. Today’s 25-lap circuit race was a new addition to the sixth edition of the stage race and one that received a lot of positive feedback from teams, spectators and riders.
“I personally do like this type of event integrated in stage races. It makes the stages diverse and when you are a complete athlete, you need to be able to manage those shorter races as well, if you want to be able to win a stage race. In my opinion, it’s more engaging to spectators, brings them even closer to the athletes, and allows them to cheer on the riders many more times. It creates a bit of a stadium atmosphere and I think riders and spectators enjoyed the benefits of such a stage today,” said Sports Director, Ronny Lauke.
Read the reaction from the riders after the second stage of OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
“The stage was nice today. It was fast and I think we raced well today as a team. It wasn’t in the plan that I attack but I was feeling good, I saw a moment, and so I tried.”
“In the final lap I was with Tiff and Kasia (Niewiadoma). Trek-Segafredo were doing a good lead out, and we were in good position. It became hectic in the final 500m, I could find my teammates, we tried, and I got fourth. I have mixed feelings about the result but I still feel good for the next days.”
“The stage was fun and I enjoyed it. It was fast, and safe. Elena had a great position coming into the sprint but then was blocked by one of the Sunweb riders, and that cost her at least getting on the podium.”
“I was able to ride in good position most the day. It did get a bit hectic any time you drifted back through the peloton. So I tried to not do that too often.”
“I was happy to help the girls and cover moves when needed. There weren’t many attacks due to the high speed in the bunch apart from Alice and Elena.”
“Overall I was happy with my race and what I could contribute. The legs are still feeling strong and the sensations really good. I’m looking forward to the next few days, which are sure going to be challenging but I believe we can do some good things together as a team.”
“Today was as tough of a stage as we expected. The race was flat out from the start and there was never a let up, so recovery was difficult.”
“I got a gap on the first corner of the race, so I continued. There were a few of us away for a bit but then we were caught. I also had a go in the first intermediate sprint which was a good chance as I don’t do that very often. However after that, I struggled to recover. It was an interesting change of racing and I believe it could be something to include in more stage races.”
“I didn’t have the best day today and I can just say that I’ll be looking forward to the next four stages to make up for it.”
“The stage was fast from the start and never really let up. You had to concentrate the whole time otherwise you would loose positions and you’d have to fight to get back to the front.”
“It was a fun but hard addition to the Women’s Tour and great for the spectators. Hopefully it’s something that the organisers will consider doing again next year.”
Wednesday 12 June | Stage 3 | 145.1km | Henley-on-Thames – Blenheim Place | 10:30BST
Thursday 13 June | Stage 4 | 158.9km | Warwick – Burton Dassett | 10:30BST
Friday 14 June | Stage 5 | 140km | Llandrindod Wells – Builth Wells | 10:30BST
Saturday 15 June | Stage 6 | 125.9km | Carmathen – Pembrey Country Park | 10:00BST
The race is sponsored by Terrano Systems, as the Official Cycling Communication System Partner, and can be followed on Twitter with #UCIWWT and #OVOWT.
Daily highlights will be broadcast on free-to-air television and in more than 100 countries. Each evening at 20:00BST highlights will be on ITV4 in the UK.
International viewers will be able to watch the 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour on the following networks:
- Eurosport – Europe, Asia, Oceania Europe, Asia
- fuboTV – USA and Canada
- Flosports – USA and Canada
- SuperSport – sub-Saharan Africa
- Sky – New Zealand