Coryn Rivera took a thrilling stage victory in Daventry at the end of the second stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, outsprinting Marianne Vos to also move into the overall race lead.
The Californian rider for Team Sunweb survived the double ascent of the SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb of Newnham Hill on the outskirts of Daventry to pip Vos and move into a 15-second lead ahead of day three in Warwickshire.
Briton Dani Rowe (WaowDeals Pro Cycling) sits second, with her team-mate Vos a further second in arrears. A further thirteen riders are all within 23 seconds of Rivera on GC with three days of racing remaining.
After a long solo breakaway by Maaike Boogaard (BTC City Ljubljana) had been reeled in by the peloton, the first ascent of Newnham Hill saw a group of four, containing last year’s winner Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM), Vos, Rowe and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle HIGH5), go clear with 35 kilometres remaining.
Having contested the day’s final intermediate Eisberg Sprint on the first passage of the finish line in Daventry – won by Rowe – the group were pulled back as Team Sunweb, and in particular Floortje Mackaij, worked hard for Rivera.
“We weren’t represented so did have to do something but we didn’t panic”, said Rivera afterwards of that elite but short-lived breakaway that preceded her first victory in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
“I just communicated to Floortje, who was riding really well today, to help me pace it. Then as we got closer to the top I was able to bridge across to the climbers in the front group. Luckily we already had Ellen [Van Dijk] in there and so I just communicated to her to just drive it.”
Van Dijk’s pace setting on the three-kilometre run back to Daventry from the final climb kept the front group of 18 riders together and warded off any further attacks, setting up a thrilling finish. Rivera’s tighter line through the curving finish funnel, combined with a fantastic bike throw, gave her the win over Vos.
Second placed overall Rowe continues to lead the Adnams Best British Rider classification while Rivera moves into the Breast Cancer Care Points Jersey and Eisberg Sprints Jersey. Thanks to her performances on Newnham Hill, Wiggle HIGH5’s Elisa Longo Borghini takes the lead in the SKODA Queen of the Mountains classification with a 10-point advantage over erstwhile leader Christine Majerus.
Friday’s stage sees the race return to Warwickshire for the third-successive year with Stage Three covering 150 kilometres from Atherstone to Royal Leamington Spa, via the likes of Kenilworth, Warwick and Wellesbourne.
The subsequent two stages will take the race to Worcestershire (Saturday 16 June) and Wales (Sunday 17 June), with the final stage from Dolgellau to Colwyn Bay on the North Wales coast, via Snowdonia.