Lizzie Armitstead – Stage 3 win and Aviva Yellow Jersey in Derbyshire

Lizzie Armitstead powered to an emotional victory in Chesterfield at the end of the third stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour, outsprinting a trio of breakaway companions to move into the Aviva Yellow Jersey of race leader with two stages remaining.

The reigning World Road Race Champion crossed the line pointing to the sky, dedicating her win in Derbyshire to the memory of Jo Cox, the Birstall MP who was murdered yesterday.

Armitstead crossed the line clear of second placed Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio to now enjoy a five second lead over the Cervelo Bigla rider on the Aviva General Classification, with overnight leader Marianne Vos leading the bunch in for fifth, 36-seconds down.

The Boels Dolmans rider had led Moolman-Pasio and Wiggle HIGH5’s Elisa Longo Borghini across to the day’s breakaway group, catching the group of 11-riders shortly after the Strava Queen of the Mountains climb of Bank Road in Matlock.

Those eleven, who went clear after the feed zone and around 47-kilometres of racing, included the likes of Hannah Barnes, Chantal Blaak and Australian national champion Amanda Spratt, who went on to finish fourth.

Interview – Katie Hall QoM Stage 3 AVIVA Womens Tour 2016 by Cycling Shorts

Post Race media conference with Katie Hall Queen of the Mountains at the end of Stage 3 of the AVIVA Womens Tour 2016. #AVIVA2016

Lizzie Armitstead Yellow Stage 3 Winner Women’s Tour 2016 Interview by Cycling Shorts

Lizzie Armitstead takes control of the AVIVA Women’s Tour 2016 on Stage 3, Lizzies chats to the media.

While the break were working well together, they were powerless to stop the pursuit of Armitstead, Moolman-Pasio and Longo Borghini, with the trio making the junction after the summit of Bank Road having gone clear on the flatter valley roads following the Chain Reaction Cycles Sprint at Darley Dale.

Having missed the move, Vos and her Rabo Liv team chased hard, but with around 15-kilometres to go Armitstead attacked again, at first joined by just Moolman-Pasio before Longo Borghini and Spratt also made the junction.

The quartet worked well to hold off the chasing Rabo Liv, whose pursuit saw the remnants of the breakaway caught, allowing them to contest the finish in Chesterfield’s Market Place, with Armitstead leading out the sprint to take victory, her second ever stage win in the Aviva Women’ Tour.

Behind Vos outsprinted Armitstead’s Boels Dolmans teammate Amalie Dideriksen for fifth, ahead of Leah Kirchmann and Giorgia Bronzini.

In addition to the Aviva Yellow Jersey and a five second lead overall, Armitstead also retained the Adnams Best British Rider Jersey, with Dani King her nearest challenger in that competition, 47-seconds back in 15th overall.

Despite losing yellow Marianne Vos retains the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey, 11-points clear of Stage One winner Christine Majerus,

with Vos’ compatriot Floortje Maackaij holding a 34-second lead in the Best Young Rider classification presented by Stoke-on-Trent, European City of Sport.

Armitstead: Going into the race our plan was we wanted a girl in the front group and I would jump across on that climb [Bank Road, Matlock].

We knew Moolman [Ashleigh] would probably be aggressive, cos she has been in previous races and shes got a kick. So we expected her to launch an attack. I didn’t expect it to go from the bottom! But she did.

I had a good lead-out from Ellen [Van Dyke] and Christine [Majerus] right into the bottom of the climb, so I was really well positioned.

I didn’t follow Ashleigh’s attack initially because I thought if I follow that acceleration, I’d blow-up.

I knew from peoples advice that it was a long steep climb, so I held them at twenty metres and crawled my way back up to them and got over the top with them. Then it was a bit of a slog to get up to the breakaway.

When I arrived, Chantal [Blaak] did some more work on the front and took us as far as she could.

I attacked them to bring the strongest girls in the race away, that was the idea!

Having been in the day’s 11-rider move, Katie Hall led the race across both Strava Queen of the Mountains climbs at Winster and Matlock to take a 14-point lead over Ilona Hoeksma.

For full results and standings following Stage Three, please click here.

Stage Four sees the penultimate stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour head from Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent, which is celebrating its status as European City of Sport for 2016.  The stage departs from Nottingham’s Old Market Square passing via Swadlincote, Burton-upon-Trent and Uttoxeter before a run through the hills of the Staffordshire Moorlands to finish in Stoke-on-Trent city centre.

For more information on Stage Four, please click here.

Amateur cyclists can also ride part of the Aviva Women’s Tour route this year in the Tour Ride Northamptonshire, the official sportive of the Aviva Women’s Tour.  Taking place one month after the final stage, on Sunday 17 July, 40 and 80-mile routes starting and finishing from Delapre Abbey in Northampton will take place using sections of the Stage Five route, while there is also a fun, off-road 10-mile route for families. To sign-up head to www.tourride.co.uk

 

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Fred Bamforth – Favourite Ride – Yorkshire & The Peak District From Oldham

 

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In our new series we look at our writers and friends favourite rides and routes around the UK and worldwide, first up is Fred Bamforth.

 

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The Maxim ‘Quality not Quantity’ is often over used, but in cycling terms a good ride in hilly terrain can very quickly prove it….

Oldham is set within the foothills of the Pennines and over the years has been an amazing base for rides in the Saddleworth area, a hidden gem with a myriad of routes and styles of climbs that means you can never get bored.

In the modern era of cycling numbers matter so long climbs that offer ‘meters gained’ appeal to the climbers out there. One of my fave rides delivers in this respect, with long climbs, steep climbs and some amazing scenery.

image1-2 2Heading South-east from Oldham gentle undulations give way to the day’s first long climb from Stalybridge to Mottram Cutting, providing a great warm up for what is to come later. Within the cutting is a retaining wall where a ‘fossilised frog’ was found and is marked, so as you begin the gentle descent to Mottram village try to spot it on your left!

 

The road here goes downhill for a few miles, but in traffic, this means that once you’ve got towards Glossop following the A57 on the flat valley road the glory of hitting the base of the Snake pass is all the better. One of the classic northern climbs and a staple of the legendary old Tour of the Peak race the Snake delivers the challenge that its reputation has built over the decades. 

 

snakepass1What goes up must come down, and how! The twists and turns as you cross from Derbyshire into Yorkshire are what cyclists dream of and as you skirt the edge of Ladybower reservoir (of Dambusters fame) you begin to rise again before turning left onto Strines Moor. This next section of road gives a roller coaster reversing some of the route that le Tour de Yorkshire took. With steep descents and equally steep climbs, this is a test for you and your bike, good braking and swift gear changes are needed to ensure a smooth passage through this section.

Arriving at the A616 after this rural fairly quiet piece of road can be a shock as the next few miles heading North can be very busy with traffic, once past the Flouch roundabout and back into the lanes towards Holmfirth sees less vehicles and some splendid terrain.

After passing though Holmfirth and heading west on the A635 the climb over Saddleworth Moor beckons to its lofty height on the ‘Isle o’Skye’ road. This is usually a gritty head/cross wind fest but the sense of achievement of cresting the lip of the summit and dropping into Saddleworth towards Greenfield, and seeing the amazing view down the Chew Valley and over Dovestones Reservoir is something you will never tire of. 

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After some of the monster climbs the day has already thrown at you the mere couple of miles climbing out from Greenfield over Lydgate back towards Oldham on the A669 will not faze you, giving one last classic view over the Cheshire Plain and Manchester as you look down from this last big rise and the roll back in.

If you’ve got a favourite ride you’d like to share with us please get in touch.

3 Roe Cross Rd, Mottram in Longdendale, Hyde SK14 6SD, UK

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