Victory for Lepistö in final stage of Women’s Tour
Lepistö backed up her second place in the previous stage with a win today in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. It’s the second time in her career she wins the final stage of the race after achieving this feat in 2016.
The Finnish national champion had to exercise patience this season as illness has disrupted her targets. Immediately after the finish line, she said the win just removed all the pressure she placed on herself.
“Finally a win. The pressure is off the shoulders. I won this stage two years ago here and it’s pretty cool. It’s a big thing to have a win in this race. This tour didn’t start well for me as I was struggling and the legs weren’t good but on stage 3 they started opening up. I could feel the form is coming and it gave me the confidence,” Lepistö said.
Numerous attacks threatened the chance of a sprint today but when things became clear that it would end in a bunch, the sprinter prepared for the finale with the help of teammates Clara Koppenburg and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig.
“There were two climbs early in the race and it split,” Lepistö explained. “I was in the second group and it came back. There was a steady pace on the longer climb so I survived it. I started thinking of a sprint but was worried about a late attack but a headwind made it difficult. Cille and Clara were making sure I wasn’t boxed in coming to the line. I opened my sprint with 100m to go and put the hammer down.”
Team Manager, Thomas Campana said the race did not start well for the team but it dug deep to eventually be part of two strong breakaways and two top ten’s before eventually getting the top prize.
“The first two days didn’t work out for us and any other group would have given up but because of the amazing quality we have in the team, they didn’t give up and day by day we became better. I’m very happy and as we move towards the Giro Rosa, the team is shaping up,” Campana concluded.