WORDS: REBECCA BLAND
IMAGES: HONOR ELLIOTT
Strong sprints, keen climbing and sunshine were the order of the day on stage 2. Majo powered to fourth in the stage finale, Maike did more than enough to secure another day in the red intermediate sprints jersey and Gladys took all available QOM points to finish the day second in that classification. The second stage of The Women’s Tour was a 91km circular route beginning and ending in Harlow, Essex.
It was another flat stage, the only challenges being two QOM sections towards the latter end of the race. Maike started the day in the sprints jersey with the aim of keeping it, and she did so in style with first and second in the two intermediates. DS Julia agreed the stage went well for the team.
“We had a pretty good day, the teamwork was on-point. Maike was competing for the sprints and she took five seconds, so that was really nice”.
Intermediate sprints in The Women’s Tour carry bonus seconds as well as points, and the subsequent time bonuses from these means Maike has now moved up to second overall on GC.
Further along in the race, Gladys saw an opportunity to secure more QOM points by joining Lily Williams from Human Powered Health in a breakaway. She won both QOM sprints, meaning she now sits second in that competition, nipping at the heels of Christine Majerus of SD Worx.
“Gladys did some good work on the QOMs, and moved up to second, which is super nice and she also had a good move in between and got both of the QOM sprints.” Continued Julia.
After the final QOM the two-woman breakaway was quickly reeled in, leading to shuffling of positions in the bunch for the final sprint.
Majo was the team’s designated sprinter today and she was led out well by the team, who had a tricky final few kilometres after a crash split the peloton. Julia broke down how it played out.
“In the final 10km or so, there was a big crash which made it really sketchy. We were lucky that we were all together in the front so they could set up a really good train for Majo, and she finished fourth.
“In the end, we did really well on the communication, teamwork and I think the girls did great.”
Stage three promises to be a bit more punchy, perhaps bringing the GC riders to the fore. The race travels 107.9km from Tewkesbury to Gloucester tomorrow, and the action will be live on GCN+ and Eurosport from 12:30PM.
Highlights from today’s stage will be available on ITV from 8PM.