Australian champion Sarah Roy sprinted to 11th place on an aggressive opening stage of the Women’s Tour in Banbury.
The two-time stage winner was in the mix in both the intermediate sprints on the 147.7km stage, taking second and third respectively as Team BikeExchange looked to go on the front foot on day one.
With a number of attacks coming and going in the opening half of the stage, Janneke Ensing tried her luck as she jumped clear ahead of the Iron Down Hill QOM. The Dutch rider opened up an advantage of more than 30 seconds, but the peloton soon shut the move down as the race reached the finishing circuit.
A flurry of attacks were then launched over the course of the last lap, with a dangerous group of five edging away inside the final 10km. However, it was all back together again in time for the sprint finale as Marta Bastianelli took the win, with Roy battling to 11th place after getting
caught behind a late crash.
“The legs are feeling great after Roubaix surprisingly. My blistered up hands on the other hand are quite sore, but I know I’m not the only one.
It’s a real shame there is no live coverage of this race. It’s always so dynamic and interesting. Today in the last 15km we had a small group away and a fast chase from behind with a very reduced bunch after a quick QOM.
The break had about 15 seconds and all of my teammates had already used all their biccies helping me earlier in the race, so I was following wheels alone but feeling very good. The group was caught with 2-3km to go. Our first objective for the finish was to be top-10 into the roundabout 1.3km from the line, and I was thereabouts when the peloton split into two lines going around it and as they merged there was a big crash in front of me. Thankfully I made it through, but unfortunately was off the back of the sprint and didn’t get to contest for it.
Today was a fantastic team ride, and I really enjoyed it with this crew. Janneke, Ane and Teniel were really strong out there covering important moves and looking after me. I’m looking forward to the next stages. I hope all those who came down are okay.”
2021 Women’s Tour Stage 1 – Results:
1. Marta Bastianelli 3:44:41
2. Chloe Hosking ST
3. Clara Copponi ST
11. Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) ST
Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.