Hannah Barnes was sixth in yesterday’s Crescent Vårgårda Road Race in Sweden. Barnes was part of a breakaway that would stay away and sprint to the line. The race was won by Emilia Fahlin (ALE), with Lotta Lepisto (CBT) second and Chantal Blaak (DLT) in third.
The nine rider break formed after the fourth and final gravel section of the UCI Women’s WorldTour race, with around 50km left to race. A small break with Trixi Worrack had been away during the gravel sections but only ever with a small advantage. After the break of Worrack was reeled in by the peloton Barnes saw the opportunity and attacked.
“After the final gravel section the peloton had splintered and as we rolled into the finishing circuits everyone looked at each other so I attacked and we formed a group that got a gap very quickly. I rolled through with the group so we could get a good advantage,” said Barnes.
The winning break represented all of the major teams in the race so there was a strong chance that it would stay away to the finish. “There were some riders doing more and some doing less in the break so we didn’t have the best group dynamic. I thought it was going to come back to the peloton but with two laps to go then when the gap went out again I knew it would stay. In the final lap there were a lot of attacks from our group and riders that wanted to get away. But in the end we all sprinted to the line.”
Although Barnes finished sixth in the UCI Women’s WorldTour race she is not satisfied with her place. “I’m not happy with the final. I was nervous in the sprint so I messed the final corner up. There was fight into it the last corner because everyone knew they needed to be at the front. It bunched up and I didn’t want to lose my speed so I went wide but it was the wrong thing to do and I lost a lot of distance. In the end I could make it back with my sprint and was sixth.”
Sport Director Ronny Lauke was pleased with the team’s efforts. “Hannah created that winning break so it was an aggressive move which I like. Before that we had been present in every important move and as a group we raced well.”
The team will next race GP de Plouay-Bretagne on Saturday 27 August in France.