2024 Tour of Britain Women – Stage 1 Race Report

How the race finished

Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx Protime) was declared winner after a photo finish with Letizia Paternoster (Liv AlUla Jayco) in the opening stage of the Tour of Britain Women. Pfeiffer Georgi (dsm firmenich Post NL) came in third as the elite nine-rider breakaway group came to the line. 

Full results are available below.

How it happened

Stage One of the Tour of Britain Women saw the peloton take on a lumpy course from Welshpool to Llandudno. The opening part of the stage was raced hard, but despite many attacks, no breakaway was allowed to go clear. With the pace high, riders began to be dropped from the peloton on the approach to the first categorised climb of the race, the category 1 climb to Llangynog.

Connie Hayes (Dolticini O’Shea) pushed the pace on the climb, tracked closely by SD Worx Protime and Lifeplus Wahoo. St Michel Mavic Auber 93 took over pacing, but it was Heidi Franz (Lifeplus Wahoo) who came through to take the maximum ten points over the top. 

On the windy moors over the top of the climb the peloton split. With the pace high and riders strung out, a number of small groups continued to form and reform at the front. After the descent, as the wind turned into a headwind, a breakaway formed, and the peloton settled into chasing. Barbara Guarischi (SD Worx Protime), Millie Couzens (Great British), Amber Pate (Liv AlUla Jayco), Katia Ragusa (Human Powered Health), and Franziska Koch (dsm firmenich PostNL) rotated well together, but with headwinds not in their favour, they never made much group on the peloton behind. As the bunch brought them back, Lucy Harris (Pro Noctis 200 Coffee Hargreaves Contracting) launched a solo counter attack.

Harris extended her lead to around a minute, but as they came towards the second categorised climb of the day Connie Hayes of Doltcini O’Shea attacked, drawing Cristine Majerus, Krista Doebel-Hickok (Human Powered Health), Millie Couzens (Great Britain), Taniel Campbell (Liv AlUla Jayco), Daniek Hengeveld (dsm firmenich PostNL), Anne Knijnenburg (Volkerwessels), and Josie Talbot (Cofidis) along with her. 

At the base of the climb, an injection of pace by Eleanor Barker (Great Britain) brought it all back together. Harris pressed on, but Taniel Campbell led the bunch in pursuit. With Harris swept up, Pfeiffer Georgi (dsm firmenich Post NL) attacked, with Anna Henderson and Lizzie Deignan, both riding for Great Britain, on her wheel. Christine Majerus (SD Worx Protime) bridged the gap solo before Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx Protime) brought a small group across. 

Over the top of the climb, Lizzie Deignan rolled through to take the maximum points, putting her into the lead in that competition after having taken points earlier in the day. The small group pushed on, and with the major teams of SD Worx Protime, Great Britain, Liv AlUla Jayco and dsm firmenich PostNL all happy to see their leaders go up the road, the peloton slowed and let the group go clear.

At the intermediate sprint at Dolgarrog Lizzie Diegnan led it out before Lotte Kopecky launched, but Letizia Paternoster (Liv AlUla Jayco) was able to time her sprint perfectly to take the bonus seconds on the line. By 18 kilometres to go the gap had gone out significantly, with only Lifeplus Wahoo and Cofidis chasing in the bunch. A few kilometres later Human Powered Health joined the chase, but after their effort made only a small dent in the gap, the remaining big teams in the peloton seemed resigned to not catching the leaders.

At 8km to go Lucy Lee attacked from the peloton, setting off solo in pursuit of the final position in the top ten at the stage finish. Up front, with a significant lead behind them, the riders began to get cagey. Anna Henderson looked set to attack, but backed off when Majerus noticed. As they began to play games, splits began to open up, but Majerus took to the front to set a steady pace for SD Worx Protime. 

Henderson’s attack came, afterall, at 2km to go, and was marked by Majerus and Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Liv AlUla Jayco), both attentive to attacks to ensure their teammates, both fast finishers, would have the opportunity to sprint for the win. Going under the 1km to go banner Rosemann-Gannon went to the front and strung things out. Majerus put in her final piece of work to lead out Kopecky, but, just like at the intermediate sprint earlier in the day, a flying Paternoster had everyone on the edge of their seat as it went to a photo finish. Kopecky had done enough, this time, to claim the victory. Behind, Lucy Lee had done enough to hold on for tenth place ahead of the peloton which was led in by Lorena Wiebes (SD Works Protime).


Stage One – Full Results

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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