Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

Lotte Kopecky wins Tour of Britain Women in emphatic style
Cycling Sport

Lotte Kopecky wins Tour of Britain Women in emphatic style

The world road race champion, Lotte Kopecky, took a dominant overall victory in the reborn Tour of Britain Women, reinforcing her status as the rider to beat in the road race at the Olympic Games.

The 28-year-old Belgian, riding for SD Worx-Protime, took stage wins in Llandudno and Wrexham and never looked under threat throughout the four-day race, which began in ­Welshpool and ended on Sunday afternoon in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

In chilly, wet conditions, ­Kopecky might have also won the sprint finish to the final stage but instead chose to open a path for her ­teammate ­Christine Majerus, who made the classic error of ­celebrating success too soon and allowing the Australian national champion, Ruby ­Roseman‑Gannon, racing for Liv AlUla Jayco, to snatch the victory.

“I just can’t believe I won that,” Roseman-Gannon said. “Some races you come in as leader and you have a lot of pressure. Today I was worried about the rain, so to win is amazing.”

Despite the efforts of her rivals to spring a surprise on the final stage, Kopecky remained calm. “I think in the end we were always in control,” she said. “It was a really good week of racing and it will only increase my level.”

Aside from Kopecky, the race also demonstrated the strong form of Anna Henderson, riding for a composite Great Britain team. Henderson took second overall and matched Kopecky, pedal stroke for pedal stroke, for most of the race, despite coming back from a broken collarbone sustained in April.

Her Great Britain teammate Lizzie Deignan was the race’s other most consistent performer, animating the stages with attacking racing and also claiming the best climber’s classification.

Anna Henderson and Lotte KopeckyView image in fullscreen

Shivering with cold at the finish line, Henderson said: “It was a good day. We took the Queen of the Mountains competition with Lizzie and finished off with me second overall, so it was a really nice few days with the girls.”

Deignan said: “We came here trying to win overall and Anna did a brilliant job on the GC [general classification],” before describing the rebooted race as a success. “It’s been a really good event, I think the organisers have done a brilliant job. I hope next year it draws some more World Tour teams.”

Despite the short timescale and, with only four World Tour teams taking part, the quality of competition was high and British Cycling now plans to extend the event in 2025.

“Our decision to stage the Tour of Britain Women, and the Tour of Britain Men, this year, has really been vindicated,” the British Cycling chief executive, Jon Dutton, said. “We’ve seen some compelling racing. We always said we wanted two six-stage races and we want to do that as soon as next year.”

skip past newsletter promotion

In France, Primoz Roglic of Bora-Hansgrohe suffered a last-minute wobble in the final mountain stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, but recovered to take a narrow overall victory, despite a last-ditch attack by the American Matteo Jorgenson, which eroded much of the Slovenian’s overall advantage.

The denouement of the final major French stage race before the Tour de France was heavily influenced by a high-speed crash, close to the finish of Thursday’s stage, which involved most of the peloton and led to the racing being neutralised.

Roglic, who was among the multiple fallers in the mass fall on stage five, said he was definitely suffering on the final climb to the Plateau des Glières and admitted he had been for the past three days.

The Slovenian, winner of the Alpine race in 2022 and of three editions of the Vuelta a España, described the race as “crazy” because of all the crashes and “a lot of things happening that you don’t want to”.

Roglic was distanced on the final climb on Sunday by accelerations led by Carlos Rodríguez, of Ineos Grenadiers, and Jorgenson, the Visma Lease a Bike team’s understudy to the double Tour de France champion, Jonas Vingegaard, whose participation in his title defence remains in doubt.

Rodríguez, fifth overall in the Tour last July, went on to win the stage from Jorgenson and finish fourth overall. His strong performance in the high mountains will consolidate his claims to be the British team’s leader when the Tour starts in Florence on 29 June.

Source: theguardian.com