Aviva Women’s Tour 2016 Pre Race Round Up

 

All images ©Copyright www.chrismaher.co.uk | CyclingShorts.cc

 

 

The Aviva Women’s Tour 2016 is a UCI Women’s World Tour event. Starting in Southwold on June 15th and finishing in Kettering on June 19th. Covering a total distance of six-hundred-and-twenty-one kilometers in total is the longest distance covered so far in this third edition of the Women’s Tour. With an increase to under seven-thousand-four-hundred meters of ascending, this is by-far the toughest Tour to date.

WT2016_NationalMapThe five day stage race’s longest individual stage is stage two from Atherstone to Stratford-upon-Avon at a distance of one-hundred-and-forty kilometers. This years Tour will visit seven counties; five, new to the Tour.

Marianne Vos makes a welcome return to the Tour this time around after missing most of last seasons racing. Vos won the inaugural Women’s Tour back in 2014 riding with Rabo Liv and returns again with her Rabo Liv team-mates to reclaim her crown winning races already this year in Europe Vos will still be a force to recon with this Tour.

Defending champion Lisa Brennauer returns to the Women’s Tour in the re-jigged Canyon-SRAM team along with the winner of the final stage from last year in Hemel Hemstead, Hannah Barnes. Hannah was back in America last weekend riding the Philadelphia Classic, the last round of the UCI Women’s World Tour where American National Champion Megan Guarnier, Boels Dolmans took the victory.

The Aviva Women’s Tour is the second longest event in the UCI Women’s World Tour calendar in 2016. The longest being Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile starting on July 01st and ending on July 10th.

 

Listen to the Pre Tour Press Conference below with Marianne Vos, Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Johansson & Lisa Brennauer.

Aviva Women’s Tour 2016 Pre Race Press Conference by Cycling Shorts

With less than 24 hours to the start of the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour CyclingShorts.cc brings you the pre race press launch with Marianne Vos, Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Johansson & Lisa Brennauer.

Pre Race Press

Mick Bennett: He can’t remember having such a line up! Defending Champion Lisa Brennauer, World’s number one Emma Johansson, Olympic Champion Marianne Vos and the World Champion Lizzie Armitstead.

Press: Aims for the week?

Lizzie: Finishing my first ever Women’s Tour, with a chuckle! I’ve managed to do that. Lizzie went on to say that she just wanted to enjoy being the (World) Champion and having a good race. She wants to come out of this weeks Tour feeling stronger than she has coming into it.

The girls are all eager to get a good GC contention for themselves or one of their team mates, Emma had said that should they get a good first result, they would fight all the way to Sunday.

Press: Women’s Cycling has grown significantly over the past few years. How important is the Tour in the Women’s Calendar?

Lizzie: Races like these are the blueprint of how they should be put on. In 2016, this is how it should be done. The Women’s Tour is leading the way. She went on to say that the UK has the most prestigious stage race in Women’s Cycling. In terms of professionalism and race organization the Tour leads the way.

They all agree that the Tour has a really good feel to it and that the crowds that line the roads are the best in Women’s Cycling too. They love the school children on the roadside and the enthusiasm.

Mick Bennett hinted that it’s Sweetspot’s intention to make it a seven day stage race next year, and the possibility of a time-trial or team-time-trial too! The Women’s Tour has a very, very good future with stars like this here year-on-year!

 

 

UCI Women’s World Tour Ranking after the Philadelphia Classic

 UCI WorldTourRankings2016

Words by Chris Maher

Final Report from the 2015 Aviva Womens Tour

All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

Lisa Brennauer clinched the overall victory in the Aviva Women’s Tour, surviving an attacking final day of racing through the Chiltern Hills from Marlow to Hemel Hempstead, won by Hannah Barnes.

The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling rider sprinted to victory in the Premier Inn Best British Rider Jersey as the peloton once again caught the day’s break of Claudia Lichtenberg and Audrey Cordon inside the final kilometre.

The duo were finally reeled in by a fast charging peloton on the arrow straight final 500-metres, setting up an exciting finish with Barnes coming through to claim her biggest victory to date, along with both the Premier Inn Best British Rider and SweetSpot Best Young Rider prizes by virtue of her fifth overall.

Behind Barnes Stage Two winner Jolien D’hoore took second with Simona Frapporti third, while General Classification Contenders Brennauer, Majerus and Johansson took fourth, fifth and seventh respectively.

The World Time Trial Champion’s consistent finishing of top six places on all five stages earned her the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey to pair with her Aviva Yellow Jersey, finishing with a six second advantage over D’hoore with Majerus a further second back.

Interview – Lisa Brennauer 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour Winner by Cycling Shorts

Lisa Brennauer of Team Velocio SRAM talks after her dominant performance and taking the overall win in GC in the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour. A well deserved Yellow jersey win!

“This Tour is one of the biggest events on the women’s calendar, so this victory means a lot to me. It was a great victory for me, but also for the whole team – big thanks to all my team mates,” said the Velocio SRAM rider afterwards

“I have to thank my team mates, it wasn’t easy today – a tough stage with all the hills and a lot of hard attacks.

“I worked hard yesterday to get the jersey back. I missed some of the intermediate sprints. I wanted to get to the point where I could give back to my team-mates for all their hard work.”

Having started amidst the biggest crowds of the week in Marlow in Buckinghamshire, riders headed into the Chiltern Hills for a stage of attacking racing. A lead group of four riders, including eventual YodelDirect Combativity Winner Gracie Elvin, formed early on but were caught by the top of the first Strava Queen of the Mountains climb of Cryers Hill as the General Classification contenders fought for bonus seconds at the first Chain Reaction Cycles Sprint at Prestwood, which came almost immediately afterwards.

Lichtenberg then attacked on one of the day’s, many, unclassified climbs with many riders trying to cross to her, but Wiggle Honda’s Cordon was the only one to make the junction with thirteen kilometres remaining.

Yet again though in the Aviva Women’s Tour the escape would not prevail, setting up Barnes for a highly popular win in Hemel Hempstead

Hannah Barnes Stage 5 Winner – Women’s Tour 2015 by Cycling Shorts

Hannah Barnes of Team UnitedHealthcare talks to the media after taking the U23 and Best British Rider Jerseys in the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour and topping it all off with the final stage win!

“This was the biggest aim of the year, so I’m happy to have pulled it off.

“I knew it would be hard in the Chilterns and what to expect. The sprint was crazy, very difficult. I got boxed at 100m to go but thankfully got free. The team are normally used to the American peloton & wide roads,” continued Barnes, before praising teammate Alexis Ryan for protecting her in “the Alexis bubble”.

With breakaway riders sweeping up the big points at both Strava Queen of the Mountains climbs Orica AIS rider Melissa Hoskins extended her lead by a point to keep hold of the orange polka dot jersey ahead of Elise Delzenne.

The Boels Dolmans team added the Aviva Team Classification to their two stage wins with Elisa Longo Borghini claimed the Overall YodelDirect Combativity Award having been at the front of the action on several stages.

An excellent Women’s Tour bring on 2016!

Highlights of Stage Five will be shown by ITV4 at 8pm on Sunday 21 June with a repeat at 11.15am on Monday 22 June and available on demand via the ITV Player for 30-days after broadcast.

Stage 5 Resultsstage 5

Final GC Podium for the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour

Overall GC WT2015

U23: Hannah Barnes

Best British: Hannah Barnes

Points: Lisa Brennauer

Queen of the Mountains: Melissa Hoskins

Team: Boels Dolmans Cycling Team

For full results and final overall standings please click here.

Interview – Lisa Brennauer 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour Winner

Interview – Lisa Brennauer 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour Winner by Cycling Shorts

Lisa Brennauer of Team Velocio SRAM talks after her dominant performance and taking the overall win in GC in the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour. A well deserved Yellow jersey win!

Lisa Brennauer of Team Velocio SRAM talks after her dominant performance and taking the overall win in GC in the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour. A well deserved Yellow jersey win!

Aviva Women’s Tour Stage Four Report

All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

 

Lisa Brennauer sprinted back into the Aviva Yellow Jersey at the end of Stage Four of the Aviva Women’s Tour in Stevenage, as the peloton swept up a two-rider breakaway inside the final kilometre.

The World Time Trial Champion now holds a nine second lead in the race into tomorrow’ decisive stage between Marlow and Hemel Hempstead, which offers up probably the most demanding terrain of the week and possibility for breakaway success in what has been a furiously ridden race.

The German rider from the Velocio SRAM team had led the chase into Stevenage of a very high quality break in the last quarter of the race featuring European Under-23 Road Race champion Sabrina Stultiens and the dangerous Italian Elisa Longo Borghini, who won the Ronde Van Vlaanderen World Cup round earlier this year with a spectacular 33km break.

That duo were much too dangerous to allow any significant leeway when they went hard with 25km to go and Brennauer and her team, as well as Boels Dolmans riding for overnight race leader Christine Majerus immediately moved to the front to control matters.

The break’s advantage reached almost one minute with just under 20-kilometres to go, but were steadily pegged back as the peloton rode with controlled pace in wet and slippery conditions.  As they turned to take the flame route at one kilometre to go the game was up and the sprint teams started to organise themselves but Brennauer has shown a rare turn of speed this week and powered through in trademark fashion ahead of Emma Johansson and Finnish National Champion Lotta Lepistö, with the Aviva Yellow Jersey of Majerus in fourth.

Interview – Yellow Jersey – Lisa Brennauer Stage 4 Aviva Women’s Tour by Cycling Shorts

Lisa Brennauer of Team Velocio SRAM talks to the media as she regains the Yellow Jersey in the penultimate stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour 2015.

“When the rain came I knew it would be tricky but I went around the final corners safely and chose a good wheel in Emma Johansson and came off from there,” said Brennauer. “The chase was difficult because of the undulating course and the quality of the riders up the road and I wasn’t quite sure we would see them again before the finish.

“It’s going to be an exciting day and it is so close that there are seconds on the road that everybody will fight for before the final finish but me and my team are going to do our best to bring this jersey home now that we have it back. We raced very well today as a team and that will give us confidence for the final day. Our morale is very good. We have had a rider on the podium of every stage. The spirit is good and that is a very good way to start the final stage.”

Britain’s Hannah Barnes, finishing the Aviva Women’s Tour strongly, rode well for her second consecutive top five place on the day to move up to fifth place overall, taking over from Lucy Garner as both the Premier Inn Best British Rider and SweetSpot Best Young Rider (Under-23).

Hannah Barnes Interview – Stage 4 Aviva Womens Tour 2015 by Cycling Shorts

Hannah Barnes of Team UnitedHealthcare talks post Stage 4 of the Aviva Womens Tour 2015 about her race and about taking the U23 Jersey and the Best British Rider.

“It was a crazy finish, very technical in the last 10km and then it started raining on top of that,” said Barnes. “We drove the last 12km of the finish on the Friday night going to our hotel and you could see difficult it was going to be.

“I knew there would be splits and time gaps at the finish so I tried to stay at the front. It all split on the last KOM and about 30 of us went up the road then the break went. The last 10km were very narrow and two riders were away but with the rain nobody particularly wanted to take up the chase and then it was far from a straight finish.

“I wasn’t really happy with my form when I arrived back from the USA last week, it didn’t feel there, but I do usually go better towards the end of a stage race and that is what has happened this week. For me it’s more about confidence more than anything. If I go into a race confident I will perform and the last three days that confidence has returned and I’ve been pretty consistent.”

Barnes has been largely based in the USA for the first half of the season but after this Aviva Women’s Tour she is planning a big training block in Girona before returning to the States where she is targeting the Tour of Utah and the Tour of Colorado, races in which she hopes to make a strong case for Great Britain selection at the World Championships at Richmond, Virginia in September.

Despite the efforts of Brennauer’s Velocio SRAM teammate Elise Delzenne, Orica AIS rider Melissa Hoskins continues to lead the Strava Queen of the Mountains jersey, but by just two points, and with the GC ambitions of her teammate Johansson the priority.

Melissa Hoskins Interview – Stage 4 Aviva Womens Tour 2015 by Cycling Shorts

Current Queen of the Mountains Jersey Holder Melissa Hoskins of Team Orica AIS talks to the media post stage 4 of the Aviva Women”s Tour 2015.

“I would probably be the last name you would expect to see leading the Queen of the Mountains. It just sort of happened. The first day as a team if you are near the mark when you come to the first QoM you go for it, take the points. You can get in a jersey and that is always great o this kind of tour.

“I ended up taking some points on the first QoM and then on the second day I thought I’d have a crack and see if I can get the jersey which I did. And what started as a bit of a joke and a bit of a play out on the road turned into something a little bit more serious and I started becoming attached to the polka dot!

“Tomorrow’s stage sounds a bit horrific, I’ve got my work cut out, but at the end of the day we are here to help Emma in the GC so my 100% commitment will be towards here. And all this week in between the QoMs my priority has been getting her in to the sprint. We are here for a bigger picture and that is Emma and the yellow jersey.

“The stage is going to blow apart, there is no question about that. There is going to be some big time gaps. Emma’s got the form and there are a few girls behind her looking to get away on a break. It’s going to be a very aggressive race and it will be interesting to see how some of the sprinters handle the hills. Emma is climbing well, she’s always on the mark and there’s no question she can win it.”

Brennauer, who also holds the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey, enjoys a nine-second leader over Majerus, with Stage Two winner Jolien D’hoore just a further second back.  In total all of the top fourteen remain within 30-seconds of the Aviva Yellow Jersey going into the final stage from Marlow to Hemel Hempstead, a 102.6km leg from the banks of the River Thames through the Chiltern Hills.

Stage 4 Results

Stage4

 

 

GC after Stage 4

stage4GC

U23: Hannah Barnes

Best British: Hannah Barnes

Points: Lisa Brennauer

Queen of the Mountains: Melissa Hoskins

Team: Boels Dolmans Cycling Team

 

Highlights of Stage Four are on ITV4 at 8pm on Saturday 20 June with a repeat at 11.10am on Sunday 21 June and will be available on the ITV Player for 30-days after broadcast.

 

Stage 5 – the Aviva Women’s Tour Finale – Sunday 21st June, Marlow to Hemel Hempstead.

AvivaWT_Stage5_Map-1

 

Useful Links…

Twitter www.twitter.com/thewomenstour    Event Hashtag #AvivaWT2015

Facebook www.facebook.com/thewomenstour

Instagram www.instagram.com/thetourcycling

YouTube www.youtube.com/thetourcycling

Aviva Women’s Tour Women’s Tour

For full Stage Four results and standings click here.

 

 

 

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