WaowDeals Pro Cycling had a plentiful harvest in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. After the closing stage, in which Marianne got another podium place, the mood was great. The team took second and third place in the general classification with Marianne Vos and Dani Rowe. Dani took the blue jersey home, as best British rider and Marianne the pink sprinter’s jersey. Winning the team’s classification was the icing on the cake.
WaowDeals Pro Cycling embarked on the closing stage with a complete team, including Dani Rowe and Jeanne Korevaar. The two talents of the team crashed on Saturday, but had a reasonable night. Hence, Dani could defend her blue jersey as best British rider on Welsh soil, which has been her home for some time.
The final stage started intensively with a series of escape attempts. It was eventually Marta Tagliaferro, Emilie Moberg, Susanne Andersen and Natalie Grinczer who found each other for an adventure. The four could not enjoy it for very long as the flight was disharmed at 80 kilometres from the finish line, on the first climb (Bwlch-Y-Maen).
The average gradient of 5.4% on the 1.8 kilometre-long climb deemed possible to overcome, but with a steep part at the beginning of over 20%, Bwlch-Y-Maen was a problem for many riders, certainly after four days of racing. While there were some attacks at the front, also by the WaowDeals troops, several riders were dropped in the back.
A thinned-out group continued along the road to the finish line in Colwyn Bay, but it did not slow down for a second. Marta Bastianelli, amongst others, was seeking refuge in an escape. She and two chasers were caught after the climb of Nant Gwynanat, the second and last official climb of this Women’s Tour.
The riders were presented with relatively flat roads in the last 50 kilometres. They kept on attacking on the occasionally wet Welsh roads. Soon after the last intermediate sprint, in which Marianne was second, an elite group was ahead for a short time with Coryn Rivera, the GC leader, Elisa Longo Borghini, Lucinda Brand, Amy Pieters and Kasia Niewiadoma.
Also after the five were reeled back in, the urge to break away was not yet curbed. Eventually, the final stage was decided in a bunch sprint, just like the first four stages. For the fourth day running, Marianne took another fine podium spot. She was third behind winner Lotta Lepisto and Giorgia Bronzini. The general classification went to Rivera.
Made the race
Sports director Jeroen Blijlevens: “We were not as strong today as during the previous days. That’s why it was decided after the second climb to defend the second and third place of Marianne and Dani which we succeeded in”, he says. “Looking back at the past five days, we should be proud. We have made the race, but in the end, one rider slightly stood out.”