June 6, 2017
Katarzyna Niewadoma wins the opening stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour
Compiled using material supplied by the OVO Energy Women's Tour
Katarzyna Niewadoma stormed to victory in the opening stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour, taking the win in Daventry, Northamptonshire by 1-minute and 42-seconds over teammate Marianne Vos
The 23-year-old Polish Champion, on her first visit to the UK, put in an impeccable display of riding, breaking away with 47-kilometres remaining, to claim her first ever UCI Women's WorldTour win of 2017.
"When I attacked I wasn't really thinking. I just chose the moment said Niewadoma speaking afterwards. "It can be a good opportunity to go away. I expected somebody to join me, unfortunately I was alone and I was thinking 'Oh no, there's 50km to go, there's a lot of wind, there are hills!' I wasn't sure if I could gain a lot of seconds but I was really motivated to keep pushing.
Niewadoma built a three-minute lead at one point, but Boels Dolmans worked hard to reduce the deficit, but such was the WM3 rider's spirit that she stayed away to celebrate a memorable solo win, gesturing to the pink ribbon in her hair as she crossed the Kettering finish line.
"A lot of the time I was thinking about the girl who wrote my Breast Cancer Care pink ribbon; somehow I felt a lot of energy from her. I felt that we could do it. It's so crazy; normally races like this end up in a bunch sprint, and I knew that there are a lot of teams here like Ale Cipollini and Sunweb who want a bunch sprint, so I thought they would chase me hard. When I saw the 15-kilometre to go sign I knew I had to go full and see what happened. I'm so happy that I could win here.
Niewadoma now wears the OVO Energy Green Jersey heading to Stoke-on-Trent for Stage Two and leads by 1-minute and 46-seconds over Vos, with Christine Majerus a further two seconds in arrears before 15-riders sit at 1-minute 52-seconds.
The WM3 Pro Cycling rider also takes the Wiggle Points Jersey following the opening stage, while Wiggle HIGH5 rider Audrey Cordon Ragot claimed maximum points at both SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb to take that jersey after day one.
Lisa Klein of Cervelo Bigla took the Eisberg Sprints jersey on countback, being tied at the top of the standings with Jolien D'hoore.
Alice Barnes, in seventh, was the top Brit, donning the Adnams Best British Rider Jersey in her home county.
"I've not raced a WorldTour event for about a month now, said Barnes speaking afterwards. "I've done a lot of training for this race and a top 10 would have been a really nice target, so I'm happy with how it went.
"The wind wasn't as much of a factor as I thought it would be. It started off with a tailwind but we were always pretty bunched up. Up the climbs we raced really hard. Niewiadoma went away and we didn't chase as much as I thought we would. All the big teams were looking at each other. With it being a five-day race over long stages, I don't think anybody wanted to show their hand too early. She's a strong rider so she got her gap pretty quickly.
Results courtesy of www.procyclingstats.com
Stage One of the OVO Energy Women's Tour takes place in Northamptonshire, over 147.5-kilometres between Daventry and Kettering. The stage starts from Daventry town centre at 11:00, with intermediate Eisberg Sprints at Desborough and Oundle and SKODA Queen of the Mountains climbs at Haselbech and Rockingham Hill outside Corby, with an estimated finish in Kettering town centre at around 15:00.
Following stages take place in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire (Stage Two, 8 June), Warwickshire (Stage Three, 9 June) and Derbyshire (Stage Four, 10 June) before the final stage on Sunday 11 June at the heart of London. Ahead of the final day 800-women will also take to the same circuit as the professionals in a special 25-kilometre ride in aid of Breast Cancer Care.
Stage 1 Wednesday 7 June Daventry to Kettering 148km
Stage 2 Thursday 8 June The Stoke-on-Trent Stage 139km
Stage 3 Friday 9 June Atherstone to Royal Leamington Spa 151km
Stage 4 Saturday 10 June Chesterfield to Chesterfield 133km
Stage 5 Sunday 11 June The London Stage 88.2km