After an unexpected first stage yesterday, the second day of the OVO Energy Women's Tour kicked off in Stoke-on-Trent this morning. Jersey winners from yesterday adorned their colours this morning as the peloton set out. To recap, the winners were:
Katarzyna Niewiadoma (WM3) took the green OVO Energy leader jersey
Lisa Klein (Cervélo Bigla) took the Eisberg Sprints jersey
Audrey Cordon Ragot (Wiggle High5) took the black Skoda UK QoM jersey
Alice Barnes (Drops Cycling ) took the Adnams Best British Rider jersey
Stage 2 of the OVO Energy Women's Tour got underway in the dampen streets of Stoke-on-Trent. The weather didn't stop spectators coming out in their masses to cheer on the women as they rode through neighbouring villages and towns before looping back to the city centre.
93 riders set off into a 7.7km neutral zone before the real race action got underway. Unlike yesterday which saw little attack-action, there was buzz almost immediately into the start of the race as mini-breaks were being made from the front of the peloton.
With the wind and rain picking up, support vehicles were called to the peloton to throw a couple of extra layers onto the chilly riders.
It was clear very early on that this would be a frantic race. Attacks were being made continuously by determined riders, but the peloton was having none of it as each break was swallowed up again by the relentless peloton.
The first sprint came at the 90km in Rocester and was won by Jackson (Bepink) with Trevisi (Alé Cipollini) in second and Archibald (WM3) in third place. Just a few kilometres on, the peloton hit the second sprint at Cheadle.
The first Skoda UK climb came at the 100km mark at Ipstones, a 3.4km category 1 climb. It was here that we saw the peloton stretch out and break. 18 riders grouped which included Stage 1 winner, Katarzyna Niewiadoma without any teammates.
The main peloton regrouped after the gruelling climb putting them 55 seconds behind Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) who had a 23 second lead over chasing group Majerus (Boels Dolmans) and Worrack (Canyon//SRAM).
The peloton caught up to Majerus and Worrack at the 115km mark, leaving Lucinda Brand up front with a 55 second lead heading into the second climb of the route at Gun Hill.
Brand maintains her lead over the peloton by 55 seconds and with just 15km to go. Losing half her time gap on the descent, Brand gets caught by the peloton with just 10km to go making this an incredible final push for the finish line.
In a fierce and fast bunch sprint to the line, it was Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans) who took the stage win. Let's take a look at the top 10 finishers:
1 PIETERS Amy DLT
2 BARNES Hannah LPR
3 VAN DIJK Ellen SUN
4 VOS Marianne WM3
5 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna WM3
6 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa WHT
7 MOOLMAN-PASIO Ashleigh CBT
8 BARNES Alice DRP
9 KING Danielle CPC
10 BIANNIC Aude FDJ
As for the jerseys, Niewiadoma finished in 5th place and with her win yesterday, she heads into Stage Three still wearing the green OVO Energy jersey.
Niewiadoma also won the points jersey which will be worn by teammate Marianne Vos.
Cordon-Ragot holds onto the black Skoda UK QoM jersey
Hannah Barnes takes the Adnams Best British Rider jersey from sister, Alice Barnes
Lisa Klein takes the spring jersey going into stage three.