20 June 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Women’s Tour: A great race for national and international racers

June 26, 2015
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The Women’s Tour has become a great success in its two-year history and has become an important race for national and international racers.

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Many riders had been waiting with fingers crossed to make the team selection for this 5-stage race. Some had been asked to compete in the European Games in Baku but they chose to race in the English countryside.

Not only was the Women’s Tour watched by thousands on the roadside during each stage, but the event was also televised on ITV, with London 2012 Olympic Road Race Champion and racing legend, Marianne Vos co-presenting the show.

Wiggle Honda’s Dani King was over the moon to have the chance to race alongside team-mates Giorgia Bronzini (two-time world champion) and Jolien D’Hoore, who eventually finished second in overall classification. For Hannah Barnes (United Healthcare), Stage 4 which went from Waltham Cross to Stevenage was a coming home stage.

“It was fun to race through my home area and see people I knew at the side of the road.”

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This was also the case for double-Olympian Laura Trott (Matrix Fitness) who received enormous crowd support when the race went through Hertfordshire, while team-mate Helen Wyman, saw this road race as a great training opportunity.  “This is fantastic training for the ‘cross season,” said the nine-time British Cyclo cross champion. “You need to be as fit as you can be to train hard for cross, and these are great base miles. I have found the week fun, with really safe riding.”

It wasn’t just the British riders who were impressed. Feedback on the race was also very positive from the international racers, including from Queen of the Mountains winner, Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS).

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“It’s been brilliant racing in England,” said the Aussie. “The crowds have been fantastic! I didn’t expect anything like it. I was overwhelmed with how many people were so interested in what we are doing. We don’t get that anywhere else in Europe so for us as women racers it’s a nice changed to be hassled for autograph!”

Great race for National Championship Contenders

For the British women the Women’s Tour has been a good tester for the National Championships. So who are the ones to watch?

Despite crashing out of the Women’s Tour Lizzie Armitstead, who has had a very successful season so far, cannot be discounted. If the London 2012 silver medallist is on form according to Hannah Barnes

“The rest of us will be racing for second place!”

Barnes, who won the final stage of the Women’s Tour as well as the best young rider and best British rider will also be a hot contender. Other riders in the frame are London 2012 Olympian Dani King, who recently won a Tour Series race in Bath and some other notable victories earlier this year. World Pursuit champion Katie Archibald, who won the London Nocturne after an impressive breakaway is another one to watch, and fellow Peal Izumi-Sports Tours International riders Dame Sarah Storey and Joanna Rowsell will be in the mix.

Meanwhile Matrix Pro Cycling will be fielding a full team of riders in a hope of bringing either Elinor Barker or defending champion Laura Trott to the finish line first. Team manager, Stefan Wyman was very happy with the team’s performance at the Women’s Tour and looks forward to some good results on the streets of Lincoln this Sunday. The winner will come down to the woman who can fly fastest up the steep, cobbled Michealgate climb!

Maria David, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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