Emma Johansson won the opening stage of this year’s Women’s Tour, in a sprint victory ahead of Marianne Vos and Hannah Barnes.
The Swedish rider prevailed in a bunch sprint finish in Northampton, after solo breakaway rider Elise Delzenne was caught in the final 2 kilometers.
With bonus seconds taken into account, Johansson seized the overall race lead, four seconds ahead of Vos and eight seconds ahead of Barnes.
Today’s stage saw 96 riders depart from Oundle, with hordes of fans cheering them on as they started along the rolling 93.8 kilometer course.
A watchful peloton kept an early breakaway group from straying too far during the first third of today’s race. However, Delzenne managed to successfully escape the clutches of the field with an attack of her won at the 29 kilometer mark.
From there, the French rider succeeded in opening up a gap of 45 seconds over the chase during the final 14 kilometers. However, at that point, Armitstead’s Boels-Dolmans team began stepping up the pace back in the peloton – ultimately reeling in Delzenne in the closing 2 kilometers.
As race entered the final few hundreds, teams began ushering their sprinters to the front in preparation for what was shaping up to be a bunch sprint. However, a slight incline just before the finish line served to shake things up a bit for the pure sprinters, thus allowing Johansson the opportunity to capitalize on the situation.
Johansson said afterwards:
“I can sprint, especially when it’s technical or hard or cold like today. Still, I can barely believe it. I love it here. I made my good memory in England. Hopefully this is just the first one."
Results Friends Life Women’s Tour 2014, stage one: Oundle to Northampton, 93.8km 1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS in 2-28-29 2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv 3. Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealthcare 4. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda 5. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon 6. Lucy Garner (GBr) Great Britain 7. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estadio Mexico Faren all at st. 8. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans at 0-02 9. Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands 10. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized-Lululemon both at st.
Overall classification after stage one 1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS in 2-28-17 2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv at 0-04 3. Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealthcare 0-08 4. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 0-09 5. Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized-Lululemon at st 6. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans at 0-10 7. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon at 0-12 8. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-Honda 9. Lucy Garner (GBr) Great Britain 10. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estadio Mexico Faren all at st.
Friends Life Yellow Jersey – Awarded each day to the rider with the lowest cumulative time – the overall leader of the race.
The Points Jersey – Awarded each day for intermediate sprints and stage finishing position. The top 15 riders at each stage finish score.
The Strava Queen of the Mountains Jersey – Each stage has two Queen of the Mountains locations, with points awarded differing depending on the severity of each climb.
The Matrix Fitness Best Young Rider Jersey – Awarded each day to the best under 23 rider on the overall classification.
The Best British Rider Jersey – Awarded to the best British rider on general classification each day, with the aim of creating a sub-competition for British riders.
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