Wiggle High5 have had a pretty stonking Women’s Tour so far. Day one kicked off with a podium position for Italian Giorgia Bronzini, and yesterday they grabbed the stage win in Stratford-upon-Avon with both hands.
Now the race moves into the Peak District – and the riders are expecting a stage that could be influential in the overall result by the end of the week.
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Speaking about her success yesterday, Amy Pieters told us: “I didn’t expect that much from the race [yesterday], we have a super strong team. Georgia [Bronzini] was there too, and she felt good, so we had two chances in the sprint. I started sprinting quite early, and I knew she was behind me, so I knew we had a second chance if it wasn’t working. But in the end I got it and we had a team win.”
This is the first year Pieters has ridden with the well-established team, and the squad took a little while to form the kind of camaraderie it takes to be at the top of the game at World Tour events. The Dutch rider told me: “At first everyone was new – you’re used to riding against each other and suddenly we have to ride with each other – but we’re getting so close with each other now. We’re all in such good shape and I think it helps a lot that we’re feeling good, we all believe in each other, we have a lot of fun off the bike, and I think that’s really important.”
Today’s Peak District stage is the hilliest of the week, and Pieters told me: “I hope I can be there for the team, at the end we’ll have to see who is there and what we can do. I think today is most important for GC, so we can have a look and see how we are and how other teams are at the end of the stage. It is a very important day and I hope we can play the game – of course we want a good GC result for the team.”