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.
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 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 Results
Final GC Podium for the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour
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.
All Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc
The start of the Aviva Womens Tour 2015 got off to a ‘smashing’ start for Lizzie Armitstead and members of the media, not quite the finish everyone was anticipating.
With the profile of the 110km stage it looked like it would end in a bunch sprint but with QoM’s points to contest just before the finish there could be an upset.
Some of the big name riders in the hunt for a win were Bronzini and Armitstead, with their teams Wiggle Honda and Boels Dolman respectively keeping the pace high.
Katie Archibald, Pearl Izumi, “I think this race has been designed with the TV in mind with possible bunch sprint finishes. Stage 4 has a really technical finish but we hope to have everyone fighting it out to the end. My role in the team will be to sprint with the other Katie [Curtis], we will be looking for that kick at the end, Sarah Storey and Ciara Horne will be our main climbers.”
Archibald hit the deck approaching the first QoM (Queen of the Mountains) but Joanna Rowsell hung back to help her Pearl Izumi sprinter back into the pack, once she’d been seen by the race doctor. Armitstead looked to control the pace heading towards the QoM with Sharon Laws (last years QoM winner). Susanna Zorzi of Lotto Soudal unfortunately got a flat at the bottom of the climb.
6 pojnts went to Melissa Hoskins of Orica with Anouska Koster hot on her heels for the 5 points.
Lizzie Armitstead, “My form is good, I had a mini season break in May came back with two wins, I won the Tour of Qatar, I’ll take that confidence into the sprints but a much more lumpy race would really suit me.”
Orica AIS rider Emma Johansson, “ I’ve just come out of a tour in Spain that was really successful for me, I came away with 3 wins, I don’t feel like there is any pressure on me, I’m just gonna enjoy every day.”
The first sprint points were contested by a group of four riders but Coryn Rivera (UHC) won the sprint gaining the first 3 points of the tour followed by Marta Tagliaferro (2 points) and Elinor Barker (1 point).
Hannah Barnes UHC, “ I’m mostly looking at stage wins this Tour, last year was good with two top fours, Coryn and I are on form so the team is hoping to have a really good week.”
USA’s Heather Fischer took a nasty fall in the race for the second sprint, Tagliaferro took maximum points followed by Barker and Rivera.
Laura Trott, Matrix Fitness, “It went well at the Tour Series and the Milk Race for me, these stages are a bit longer than an hour race, two of the stages are 140km which isn’t what we train for, as long as I can get to the finish I think I can do ok.”
A five rider breakaway was established as the second QoM loomed ahead, the group consisted of the previous sprint contest riders, they were joined by Katie Archibald, and Coryn Rivera’s UHC team mate Katie Hall who was sitting on the back wheel waiting to pounce. The peloton chase was being led by Wiggle Honda with a 3 minute gap to the leaders at one point. Another gap developed as Katie Archibald struggled with the climb and was distanced from her breakaway companions. The UHC riders took the top two points available as the QoM summit (Katie Hall 6pts and Coryn Rivera 5pts). Archibald was last over the line for the breakaway taking 2 points as she started to slip slowly backwards, eventually when the peloton arrived at the QoM’s Sharon Laws mopped up the remaining point uncontested.
Giorgia Bronzini, Wiggle Honda, “For me and my team this race is a big goal, we are here with good riders and we are prepared for every solution that can be in the race.”
The leading group was down to four riders with 10km’s to go. Orica snd Wiggle had raised the pace on the front of the peloton and the lead groups advantage of 2 minutes 45 was eroded to 55 seconds.
Lisa Brennauer of Velcro SRAM, “I think there are more possibilities for a sprinter than just the bunch sprint this tour, I hope it’s going to be exciting and not predictable as to who’s going to win.”
With 5km’s to go the lead group were dangling like a carrot in front of the hungry peloton.
With 2km to go the race became exposed to the crosswinds of the coast with those hiding in the peloton at an advantage.
Under the Flame rouge and the breakaway was hanging in by a thread. They were quickly absorbed into the peloton. The sprinters came to the front and immediately Armitstead, Frapporti, Brennauer and Johansson showed their form. Crossing the line first was Lizzie Armitstead with Lisa Brennauer 2nd, and Emma Johansson 3rd.
The days spills didn’t end there, moments after the win Lizzie appeared to swerve to her left and in doing so hit a number of the press photographers, CyclingShorts.cc Chris Maher was one of them, they fell like a pack of cards. The photographers were in their correct position along with race organisers. Currently nothing is known about why Lizzie lost control of her bike but she went down very hard. She was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken femur, she was released later luckily with nothing more serious than bruises. Lizzie thanked everyone for their concern and also thanked the NHS staff who treated her.
Armitstead has a 4 second lead after stage one with a time of 2h39’43”. We wish Lizzie well and hope she’s able to defend her jersey tomorrow.
Stage One | Bury St Edmonds to Alderburgh
U23 – Coryn Rivera
Best British – Lizzie Armitstead
Points – Lizzie Armitstead
Queen of the Mountains – Katie Hall
Team – UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling
Twitter www.twitter.com/thewomenstour Event Hashtag #AvivaWT2015
Aviva Women’s Tour Women’s Tour
Thursday 18th June 2015 | Stage Two | Braintree to Clacton
Words by Anna, Images by Chris Maher
Cycling Stars Join City’s Charity Fundraisers at Trois Etapes 2013 Launch
– Trois Etapes 2013 cycling Pro-Am has already raised $600k for charity, last year’s event raised $1.7 million
– Launch attended by Olympic Gold medallist Ed Clancy MBE, Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and a host of senior figures from the financial sector
– Plans to launch ‘Giro’ version of the event in 2014 announced
Sports stars joined forces with leading city figures last night [Tuesday 19th March] to pledge their support for the Trois Etapes 2013 cycling Pro-Am race, held 26-29th July in the French Alps.The launch for the 2013 edition of the
unique cycling event was held at global law firm, Reed Smith LLP’s, London headquarters on the 33rd floor of Broadgate Tower. It was attended by over 150 supporters from the world of sport, media, business and finance.
The Trois Etapes provides a fundraising platform for 15 charity teams and last year raised $1.7 million for their charity partners making it the largest pro-am charity cycling event of its kind and one of the largest in sport.
The event is designed to give riders the chance to experience team cycling under race conditions, with the full support that a pro cyclist would have in a race like the Tour de France; it includes a flat Prologue and three mountain stages. The event is designed to incentivise tactical team riding. Each team of 8 riders (7 amateurs and 1 pro) has its own team car and Directeur Sportif. Every rider has a radio link with their team car and the Race Director.
Organisers of the event, Cosaveli, not only officially launched the 2013 edition of the event, but also revealed plans for a 2014 version in Italy, and an expanded 2014 version of the event in the France.
Attendees from sport and media included double Olympic Gold medallist Ed Clancy MBE, former Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and TV’s Zoe Hardman.
“I feel happy to be back for the second year, for me it’s beautiful to be here again and this is a magnificent place to be. Last year was fantastic and I think it’s a great event,” said Carlos Sastre.
He continued: “It’s a huge motivation to ride, a lot of money being raised for charity which is even more motivation for me. That’s money for the projects and it means a lot for those that really need it.”
Ed Clancy MBE
“It’s incredible the difference in the awareness of cycling in this country,” explained Ed Clancy MBE. “It’s gone from strength to strength in the past few years and that’s down to the Olympics and riders like Bradley Wiggins. Cycling is booming and it’s great to see things like this really taking off too.”
Speaking from the 33rd Floor of the Broadgate Tower, he continued: “This is perhaps the nicest building I’ve ever been in; it’s certainly the nicest lift I’ve been in to get here. I think it just shows that cycling is popular with everyone at the moment, from all areas of life, and the fact that the people here are willing to put a bit back is cracking.”
The 2013 event will be televised by Channel 4 and British Eurosport.
I like reading your articles, and was wondering if I could ask a bit of advice from you?
I am fairly new to cycling, one year, and I’m 31. I did my first race a 26.5 mile “crit” for cat 4 riders today, and whilst I finished, the others riders almost finished 10 minutes ahead of me.
I know that some of them have probably been going for years, I have to admit I was little disapointed at how far away I was, despite a fair amount of training I’ve been doing. I think that I possibly should have gambled and put more effort in getting near the front early on, but I was scared of burning out early.
My question is, when you were starting, how long did it take for you to get to a level where you started getting results, or did you just take to it straight away?
Hope you can give me a little shove in the right direction.
Great to hear from you and glad you enjoyed reading the articles, planning some more in the near future so watch out for those on cyclingshorts.
I started racing when I was 15 and rode for three years on the track before I picked up a road bike, this did give me a natural speed though so in the long run did my
road riding some good I think, so I did have a young background in the sport. I can relate to you question and points, though my first season riding at an elite level in the crits was in 2007 and it took me the whole season to break into the top 20 in a national crit, thats maybe 20 – 25 events where I got better each time.
The key to riding a good crit is positioning: think of a devil / elimination event on the track where the last rider each lap is out, apply that to your crit riding. Before you set off say to yourself the first 15 mins I need to get myself a position in the top 15 riders, how hard you have to go to achieve that or as you say “gamble” is worth the risk to achieve the top 15 position. Once in the top 15 riders you have to work hard to keep that position, every time you drop out of the top 15 you need to get back there as quick as possible. Don’t ride on the front though, rider 5 – 15 is ideal if you can achieve that.
Basically if you are outside of that top 15 you will be working alot harder as you constantly close gaps after each corner or attack while in the top 15 you are getting a smoother easier ride with less changes of speed, yes I know this isn’t as easy as it sounds, sometimes you may blow up from the effort of trying to achieve top 15 but keep trying it will click. Riding like this will also mean you make the front groups if splits occur during the race.
In answer to your other question:
How long did it take to get to a good level –
I wasn’t someone who turned up and set the world on fire, I did three years living in Belgium hanging at the back of races occasionally knudging the top 20, just like you I’d get down hearted I’d been training hard and struggling to see how I could improve. After two years I sat down, looked hard at my training, got some advice and help and started to think what I needed to change to improve my results. Two years racing experience helped too, you start to understand how you need to ride the race to improve – eg the devil concept. In 2007 I came back to the UK and was the first U23 in the elite crit series. That gave me the confidence to carry on tweaking my training, I looked at how to improve my power in a sprint finish – using turbo training and efforts behind a motorbike and dropping long road rides and gained more experience from racing alongside crit experts in the Tour Series, it took me until 2012 though to achieve my goal of standing on the national crit podium. So it took some time but small improvements are possible quickly if you know what you want to achieve and think about how you can change, adapt or learn to get a better result. Basically if you always do the same you will always achieve the same result look at how you can improve and have the confidence to try it out.
Dont get downhearted, you learn more when you have a bad result than when you win, use it as the fuel to want a good result even more, look at your training, does it fit the sort of event you want to ride well in? Training needs to be specific to the event. Crits are a constant battle to recover before the next effort you need to simulate this in your training via interval sessions.The rest will come from experience, fight hard to get into that top 15 and fight harder to keep that position.
Hope that maybe helps to put you mind at rest a little.
Let me know how you get on and good luck, remember enjoy it too!
Metaltek – Knights of Old Racing Team
If you have any questions you’d like a member of the Cycling Shorts team to tackle please just drop us a message via our contact page by clicking here.