Lorena Wiebes charges into leader’s jersey at Women’s Tour with second stage win in as many days

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Lorena Wiebes charges into leader's jersey at Women's Tour with second stage win in as many days - GETTY IMAGES

Lorena Wiebes charges into leader’s jersey at Women’s Tour with second stage win in as many days – GETTY IMAGES

Lorena Wiebes claimed her second win in as many days on Wednesday to become the new overall leader at the Women’s Tour after winning the 107.9-kilometre third stage from Tewkesbury to Gloucester.

More details to follow . . .

Stage two: Wiebes bounces back to take another win in Essex

Tuesday June 7 – Harlow to Harlow, 92.1km

Dutchwoman Lorena Wiebes charges towards the line to win stage two at the Women's Tour - GETTY IMAGESDutchwoman Lorena Wiebes charges towards the line to win stage two at the Women's Tour - GETTY IMAGES

Dutchwoman Lorena Wiebes charges towards the line to win stage two at the Women’s Tour – GETTY IMAGES

Lorena Wiebes bounced back from an opening day crash to take victory on stage two of the Women’s Tour.

The DSM rider underlined why she had been the hot favourite 24 hours earlier as she easily powered clear to win a sprint finish with room to spare at the end of the 92km stage that started and finished in Harlow.

Barbara Guarischi (Movistar) edged out Shari Bossuyt (Canyon-Sram) in a battle for second place, while stage one winner Clara Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) rolled home in sixth to retain the overall lead.

Wiebes, who came into this race on the back of her victory in the RideLondon Classique at the end of last month, finished down in 85th on Monday after a late crash, but had no such troubles a day later.

That was despite the Dutchwoman’s team-mates being left out of position by a crash in the final 10km, leaving Wiebes to ride the wheels herself before launching her attack.

“If you smell the finish line, I guess you have more motivation,” the 23-year-old said.

Wiebes’ victory moved her up to third overall, four seconds off Copponi in yellow and one second behind Maike van der Duin (Le Col-Wahoo) in second place – although Wednesday’s rolling stage from Tewkesbury to Gloucester could produce more significant gaps.

This stage had been animated by Sammie Stuart (Cams-Basso), the 31-year-old firefighter making her debut in the race, as she attacked midway through the day to go solo.

But after the Briton was caught with 20km to go, Lily Williams (Human Powered Health) and Gladys Verhulst (Le Col-Wahoo) tried a counter-attack, holding only a slim advantage over the peloton even as a crash split the chasing group, putting some of the DSM riders out of position.

The leading duo were caught inside the final three kilometres as the sprinters lined up, but once Wiebes attacked, nobody else could live with her power.

Stage one: Copponi takes early lead after crash-marred opening day

Monday June 6 – Colchester to Bury St Edmunds, 142.1km

Clara Copponi celebrates as she crosses the line to win stage one in Bury St Edmunds - GETTY IMAGESClara Copponi celebrates as she crosses the line to win stage one in Bury St Edmunds - GETTY IMAGES

Clara Copponi celebrates as she crosses the line to win stage one in Bury St Edmunds – GETTY IMAGES

Clara Copponi won stage one of the Women’s Tour in Bury St Edmunds after a dramatic late crash, with Britain’s Alice Barnes coming home fifth.

Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) capitalised on the incident with 300 metres remaining, which took out several riders including Lorena Wiebes (DSM) and Coryn Labecki (Jumbo-Visma).

The crash occurred on the penultimate turn and Copponi emerged at the front of the sprint and held off Italian trio Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ), Elena Cecchini (SD Worx) and Arianna Fidanza (BikeExchange-Jayco).

The 141.9-kilometre opening stage, which began on wet roads in Colchester, had been delayed and restarted with 35km still to race due to a road accident involving a police motorcyclist and another vehicle in front of the peloton.

Britain’s Danielle Shrosbree (CAMS-Basso Bikes), who led by one 1min 10sec seconds when the race was stopped, was caught by the peloton 15km from the finish.

In the final 500m, Wiebes appeared to be in prime position, but team-mate Charlotte Kool slid out on a narrow turn and took out Wiebes, Labecki, and Barbara Guarischi (Movistar) with her.

Copponi took full advantage, emerging on the wheel of Bertizzolo at the final corner and sprinting past 100m from the line.