5th October 2021
Walsall → Walsall
The former world champion Marta Bastianelli sprints to victory to claim her first-ever Women's Tour stage victory on stage one. The Ale BTC Ljubljana rider managed to out sprint Chloe Hosking of Trek-Segafred and Clara Copponi of FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope's who took second and third, respectively. The Italian rider Bastianelli will now be wearing the AJ Bell leader jersey for stage two. She also claimed the Sigma Sports points jersey. In the other jersey competitions, Demi Vollering of SD Worx took the SKODA Queen of the Mountains and Nina Kessler of Team TIBCO Sillicon Valley Bank took the Eisberg sprints jersey. Hannah Barnes was the highest placed British rider finishing in sixth place. The defending champion Lizzie Deignan finished 26 seconds down on the winner after working for her teammate Chloe Hosking.
Stage two will start in Walsall and finish in Walsall as the stage will follow a Kermesse-style race style. This stage promises plenty of action for both the spectators and riders as they complete a 10 kilometre circuit that will be tackled 10 times. The circuit will include three SKODA Queen of the Mountains points opportunities and three intermediate sprints. Expect this stage to be full of tactics and aggressive riding as riders who are not strong at time trailing seek to take advantage of the punchy style terrain and whilst the time trial specialist look to conserve energy for tomorrows stage.
Jess Finney: our eyes in the peloton
Stage 1: Post-Race Thoughts
"Quite an incredible day. Crowds really made it special today. It was very aggressive. With it being the first day to get jerseys, everyone wanted to try, making for a fast day out. I was able to stick to my goals and was happy with how I was riding for the first half of the race. However, I noticed quite early on in the race that my body was not reacting normally: the efforts were fine, but the recovery was like recovering from shock. I kind of expected this due to not being able to ride for some time – and guess it is a shock to the body - but you still hope that the body can hold on to its old form, but unfortunately not. So found myself struggling in the latter half of the race as fatigued kicked. Eventually, the elastic snapped after the QOM and rolled in within a group behind the main peloton. Of course, I am disappointed, but I am also realistic and knew today would never be a dream day. I’m still really happy with what I managed to do in the first half of the race – I just don’t seem to have the distance in my legs at the moment, but I am hoping that will get better with each stage.”
Stage 2: Pre-Race Thoughts
“I think tomorrow will be just as aggressive as yesterday, maybe more so given the circuit. It depends on my team’s strategy for tomorrow, but it’s the kind of racing I really enjoy tomorrow. I know I’m not on top form; however, I still want to get involved in the racing early just to test my strengths against the world’s best and absorb how the racing plays out at this level.”
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