Ruby Roseman-Gannon claims final stage of the Tour of Britain Women as Lotte Kopecky wins overall

Ruby Roseman-Gannon emerged victorious in a thrilling photo-finish on the final stage of the 2024 Tour of Britain Women in Leigh, while Lotte Kopecky secured the overall title after a race filled with attacks and dramatic twists.

Starting out from the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, the peloton faced a series of early attacks, with Krista Doebel-Hickok making the first significant move. The Great Britain team, including Lizzie Deignan and Anna Henderson, chased hard, especially on the ascent of Grains Bar. Deignan took maximum points on the climb and then pushed on solo, establishing a lead.

Charlotte Kool attempted a significant attack in the moorlands, but Deignan extended her lead to a minute. On the iconic Rake climb, Deignan powered through, securing her Queen of the Mountains classification. A breakaway group including Letizia Paternoster, Franziska Koch, Henderson, and Kopecky formed, with Deignan cresting the climb first.

Despite multiple attacks, Deignan was eventually reeled in by a determined peloton. The race continued to be dynamic, with attacks from the likes of Pfeiffer Georgi and Lorena Wiebes. The intermediate sprint saw Christine Majerus take maximum points and enough bonus seconds to move up a spot in the virtual GC.

In the final 15 kilometres, the race saw numerous attacks and counterattacks. A lead group of four, including Kopecky, Henderson, Paternoster, and Georgi, looked set to battle for the podium but were caught 9km from the finish. Letizia Paternoster suffered an unfortunate puncture at around 4km to go which saw her plummet from 3rd in GC to the bottom of the top-10 by the race finish.

As the race approached the finish in Leigh, stage 1 winner Lotte Kopecky had a slight lead and looked to help her retiring teammate Christine Majerus to victory by backing off and freewheeling when set for victory. However, Ruby Roseman-Gannon surged ahead in the final metres, narrowly beating Majerus in a photo-finish with the Luxembourger already celebrating. Lorena Wiebes secured third place, while Kopecky took fourth, cementing her position as the GC leader. Despite losing out on the stage win, the bonus seconds saw Majerus climb onto the GC podium in 3rd.

Reflecting on the race, Kopecky stated, “It was really cold and hectic – some nice steep climbs. In the end, we were always in control. We made the choice to go for Christine in the sprint, and we did it perfectly until the last gap around the corner. It was too big for me so I was not going to take the win as I saw Christine going. We made this deal that she is going to win today but maybe it was a stupid mistake. I still, however, would have done the same. It could have been a nice ending for Christine, but we finished well as a team.”

Stage winner Roseman-Gannon expressed her delight: “I just can’t believe it – the plan today was to really race aggressively and take some seconds back. We had a really good team ride and they were actually smashing that first climb. I was actually struggling and then there was full commitment into the next climb and some selections made. I still can’t believe I have won that – it’s my first European win and I’m still in shock.”

Deignan, who clinched the Queen of the Mountains jersey, commented on her solo attack, saying, “It was kind of by accident to be honest, I was just really going for the points on the mountain and saw a gap and thought well there’s nothing to lose now! I’ve got the jersey secured, I was just trying to put Anna in a good position. It was a nice atmosphere, I heard my name lots of times, lots of Yorkshire flags, and I knew the kids were at the finish line too so it was a lovely day.”

Henderson, finishing second on the GC and crowned Best British Rider, praised her team’s efforts: “It was a good day for the team. We took the Queen of the Mountains with Lizzie, and then finished off with me finishing second in GC. A really nice few days with the girls – the way they protected us really well. Lizzie did such a good job. She really put SD Worx under pressure, she was really amazing.”

The final day saw a challenging 99-kilometre stage in the Manchester area, with Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL trying to set up Georgi for a GC move. Despite multiple attacks, the race ended in a reduced group sprint. Georgi reflected on the tough day, saying, “It was a really tough day with full gas racing from the start. The girls were all really strong and paced the steep climb hard to split up the race. I am disappointed not to reward the whole team’s commitment with a podium but we kept trying until the end so can be proud of how we raced.”

2024 Tour of Britain Women Stage 4 result

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2024 Tour of Britain Women GC result

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All photo credits: SWPix