CANYON//SRAM Racing will next week start the five day OVO Energy Women’s Tour stage race on Wednesday 7 June. The team’s roster for the UCI Women’s WorldTour race will be led by British road champion Hannah Barnes, joined by 2015 tour winner Lisa Brennauer, Trixi Worrack, Alena Amialiusik, Tiffany Cromwell and Italian road champion Elena Cecchini.
The opening stage in Daventry, Northamptonshire is the home region of Barnes. “I am really looking forward to racing on home roads and seeing familiar faces. It’s special to have the support, especially from family and friends that don’t get to see me race very often and see for themselves the excitement around the racing. This is a great race on the calendar to be at.”
An ever-progressing tour, the women’s peloton will face some long stages over a variety of terrains with the finale near Piccadilly Circus in central London. Barnes, who won the final stage in 2015 from a bunch sprint knows the importance of maintaining form throughout the tour but believes she has prepared well.
“The stages are long and the routes are hard so it will be critical to stay well-fuelled and hydrated for the five days. I had a small break after Tour de Yorkshire and then started to rebuild. I had one week altitude in Park City in USA, then raced the Amgen Tour of California and followed that with a hard training week in California.”
Barnes believes her CANYON//SRAM Racing team will especially look forward to the longer stages. “All of the stages add a different dimension, but I believe with the team we are taking we can do well in the longer more rolling days. For me personally, I am confident to get over the QOM’s in a small group and follow it with a good result.”
Preview each stage with Barnes below.
Stage 1 | Daventry – Kettering | 147.5km | 11:00am
“The first day is long and the terrain is challenging. Everyone will be fresh and excited to get racing. The stages are long so it will be important to conserve as much energy as possible in the earlier stages. The finish is the same as the previous two editions so the riders will know what to expect and will even recognise some of the roads.”
Stage 2 | Stoke-On-Trent Stage | 144.5km | 11:00am
“This stage will likely split on Gun Hill because there is only 25km to the finish. Sprinters and their teams will have to work hard to make it over the top of the climb or chase back in time for the finale. The British roads are notorious for being grippy which makes the effort of racing a lot harder. This stage has the sort of terrain a small group can get away when the pressure is on and potential go to the line if the composition of riders and teams are right. This one will be exciting to watch!”
Stage 3 | Atherstone – Royal Leamington Spa | 151km | 10:00am
“Stage 3 could be a large group coming to line but with both QOM’s coming in the final 40km I think it’s more a stage for the opportunist. Edge Hill (1.1km at 9.5%) and Burton Dasset (600m at 9%) come within 10km of each other. It could be the day where the races QOM is decided.”
Stage 4 | Chesterfield & Derbyshire | 123km | 10:30am
“This stage looks really hard. If the GC hasn’t already been decided then this stage is perfect for teams to be aggressive and create pressure for the GC contenders. There aren’t many hard climbs in the final 70km but with the roads being heavy and now coming into the end of the tour, I predict there will be small groups coming to the line in Chesterfield.”
Stage 5 | The London Stage | 88.2km | 3:30pm
“The final stage in London will be really exciting! The crowds are always great and the course has a lot of corners plus some hairpins so it will be explosive and with the stage being shorter than the previous days it will be more intense and a great finale to the tour.”
A daily one hour highlights program will be broadcast on ITV4 and Eurosport and available on demand on ITV Hub and Eurosport Player. Follow the live action on the team’s Twitter with #OVOWT and #UCIWWT.