Race Report: Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women Stage 2

Written by: Neil Cormier
Posted 5 days ago

Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) took her second stage win on Friday at the Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women, ousprinting breakaway companion Anna Henderson (Great Britain Cycling) after the two had stolen away with 25km to go. Kopecky’s teammate, Lorena Wiebes, led the peloton in 20 seconds later and easily took the sprint for third.

Kopecky was pleased with the way things turned out in stage 2, especially after the previous day’s very close photo finish.

“It couldn’t have gone better,” Kopecky said, “I am really happy with today’s race. It was nice to get Anna with me in the break today, and I wasn’t prepared to try something after the longer climb. I knew what the finish would look like, and I didn’t panic, and it’s been another really good day for our team.”

Anna Henderson was happy to be back in form after breaking her collarbone at La Vuelta Femenina at the end of April, but disappointed she couldn’t match Kopecky in the sprint.

“I am really happy, bittersweet I think,” Henderson said afterwards. “I was super happy to go with Lotte and be on par with her physically up the climb. But being that close to the win, I am disappointed but happy with my second race back after breaking my collarbone.”

As for team Great Britain’s chances of winning in the upcoming stages, Henderson was optimistic. “I think we can, we have a lot of strength in the team and it is a big ambition for us as a team to win a stage.”

How the race unfolded

The 140.2km stage with 1570m of climbing started and finished in Wrextham, with the intermediate bonus sprint and two categorized climbs coming towards the end of the stage after 80km.

The race began with the usual attacks from riders hoping to form early breakaways, but nothing was successful until Franziska Koch (dsm-Firmenich Postnl) made a solo attack at around 30km. Over the next 50km, Koch would increase her lead to almost 4 minutes until SD Worx-Protime decided it was time to reel her in.

At 88.4km, Koch reached the foot of the first climb, Eyton Hill (1.4km – 3%), with plenty of time and crested the climb to win the maximum QoM points. Back in the quickly approaching peloton, Heidi Franz (Lifeplus Wahoo) outsprinted Lizzie Deignan ( GB Cycling Team) for the second place QoM points.

With the intermediate bonus sprint coming shortly afterwards at the 93km mark, Koch’s lead was still enough for her to also take the sprint. Back in the peloton, which was now quickly closing in on Koch, Charlotte Kool (dsm-Firmenich Postnl) and Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) contested the remaining intermediate sprint points with Kool surprising Kopecky and taking the second place points.

Koch was caught by the peloton very soon after the intermediate and the pace of the peloton picked up as they headed toward the final climb, Horseshoe Pass (4.2km, 6.4%). On the climb, the peloton began to get strung out and it was soon apparent that Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) was the strongest. In the last 500 meters she easily powered to the front to take the QoM points with Anna Henderson (GB Cycling Team) closely on her wheel in second place and Lizzie Deignan (GB Cycling Team) further back in third.

As they crested the top and began the descent, Kopecky and Henderson took advantage of the gap they had on the strung out peloton and began to work together with less than 30km remaining. In the chase group of 13 riders that formed behind, teammates from Great Britain Cycling, along with SD Worx-Protime, did their part to help the lead duo increase their gap to almost 40 seconds.

With around 11km remaining, Kopecky attempted to attack Henderson coming out of corner at the bottom of a descent, but Henderson was able to close the gap and sat on Kopecky’s wheel for a short while before she agreed to share the lead. Pushing into the last kilometers, Kopecky and Henderson worked well together, apparently realizing the need to work together right to the end if they hoped to stay ahead.

In the final kilometer, Kopecky made the decision to take the lead and let Henderson sit on her wheel, perhaps realizing that the peloton was only about 20 seconds behind. Keeping the pace steady, Kopecky kept an eye on Henderson and then at the 300m mark she began to wind it up up for the sprint. With Henderson right on her wheel, Kopecky increased her speed and then at the 150m she launched her sprint. Henderson reacted immediately and tried to come around Kopecky, but she couldn’t match the speed and Kopecky won by a good bike length.

Kopecky’s teammate Lorena Wiebes led the peloton in 20 seconds later and took third place by several bike lengths, with Letizia Paternoster (Liv AlUla Jayco) taking fourth.

RESULTS

Stage 2 Results

1.Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) 3:37:12
2. Anna Henderson (GB Cycling Team) m.t.
3. Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) +20”
4. Letitzia Paternoster (Liv-AlUla-Jayco) m.t.
5. Pfeiffer Georgi (dsm-firmenich PostNL) m.t.
6. Sarah Roy (Cofidis) m.t.
7. Margot Vanpachtenbeke (VolkerWessels) m.t.
8. Josie Talbot (Cofidis) m.t.
9. Lizzie Deignan (GB Cycling Team) m.t.
10. Eline Jansen (VolkerWessels) m.t.

General Classification

1. Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) 07:41:07
2. Anna Henderson (GB Cycling Team) +17”
3. Letizia Paternoster (Liv ALUla Jayco) +34”
4. Pfeiffer Georgi (dsm-firmenich PostNL) +38”
5. Lizzie Deignan (GB Cycling Team) +43”
6. Eline Jansen (Volker Wessels) m.t.
7. Victorie Guilman (St. Michel-Mavic-Auber 93) m.t.
8. Christine Majerus (SD Worx-Protime) m.t.
9. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Liv ALUla Jayco) +3:01
10. Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) +4:29

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