Leah Thomas wins inaugural Tour of Scotland in a magic day in the rain for Bigla
Leah Thomas started the third stage of the Women’s Tour of Scotland, which took the peloton around the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, only 7 seconds behind the leader in the GC. The weather on the final day also played havoc, and the peloton had to contend with yet another stage on wet roads. In decisive moments of the race, Bigla yet again was visible at the front, and in the last 10km of the stage, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig launched a powerful attack, which was, however, reeled back in over the final kilometres but not before she was able to add additional QOM points to her tally. Over the last kilometres Leah Thomas moved to the front of affairs and was able to hold her competitors off and ultimately cross the finish line first ahead of her teammate Elise Chabbey. With that formidable performance she was able to attain the overall win of the Women's Tour of Scotland while Elise, as well as Nikola Noskova also placed in the top-10 in the GC. Leah also took the sprint jersey and Nikola the young rider's jersey while Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig successfully defended her QOM jersey.
But it was not only today that Bigla displayed strong performances. On the first stage of the inaugural three-day race, despite the high winds and heavy rain and the eventual cancellation of the stage, the Bigla riders managed to put in a solid performance. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig was able to pull on the QOM jersey while teammates Elise Chabbey and Leah Thomas also gathered valuable points in the mountains classification. On the second stage, following yet another strong showing from the team, which was continuously mixing it up at the front of the race, Cecilie was able to defend her jersey, while Leah took the sprint jersey as well as fourth place in the finale, after almost 140km in the saddle. Elise and Leah also took second and third place in the QOM classification, rounding off a very strong performance by the team on this challenging course.
Team Manager, Thomas Campana said after the race: “We came to the Women’s Tour of Scotland with big ambitions. We brought a strong team here, as one of our main and most loyal partners, Endura, is based only 25km from here. It is really an honour to race through this area. Our plan was to go for the GC already from the first stage. Unfortunately that stage was cancelled due to inclement weather conditions. Yesterday, we also tried to go on the attack and were ready for a long day in the break, but we were ultimately chased down. So the third stage was all about securing the QOM jersey, and also helping Leah produce a good result in the overall standings. In our team meeting this morning, it was clear that our riders were ready to make these goals happen. They rode superbly today, and as a result, we go home with several jerseys and the overall win. The most important thing, however, is to see the strength of character and true quality of the team, which has clearly shone through these past three days.”