Leah Dixon – Cycle Team OnForm set about chasing the leaders as their lead extended to over two minutes second pass of the finish line.
The trio of leaders extended their lead going into the main climb, now over three minutes up.
An increase in pace from the peloton, saw the gap began to drop as they descended back towards Edmundbyers. Now down to two leaders, the middle chasing riders formed a group of five at 1m.18s and the peloton further back at 1m.55s as former Women’s Road Series winner Lizzy Banks – UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling drove the chase.
With only Illi Gardner – YRDP left chasing Storey & Cockcroft at 1m.01s the peloton sucked up the remaining riders with 9 miles to go.
Several more attacks in the final few miles came to nothing including Porter again, part of the original breakaway.
Storey made her move with 200m to go, Cockcroft finishing second. Nikki Juniper took the bunch sprint up to the finish line ensuring she remains at the head of affairs going into stage 2 on Sunday morning. This includes 2 ascends of Bale Hill, this time the opposite way round pushing the distance up to 75.7miles.
1. Dame Sarah Storey (Team Storey)
2. Emma Cockcroft (Bianchi Dama)
3. Nikki Juniper (NJC-Biemme-Echelon)