Aviva Women’s Tour: Moolman-Pasio animates Queen stage
The Queen stage of Aviva Women’s Tour didn’t disappoint as attacking racing made for an exciting final. Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team were well represented as Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio placed second on the stage after some aggressive racing from the South African.
She formed part of a 4-rider group that came to the line with an advantage over some chasers. Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) won the stage taking over the yellow jersey, followed by Moolman-Pasio and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5).
The three riders also occupy the first three positions on the overall standings with Moolman-Pasio trailing Armitstead by 5 seconds.
The stage started fast with several attacks. The first serious move however only got away as the race approached the first QOM. Clara Koppenburg formed part of an 11-rider move that got an advantage of 1 minute 20 seconds.
At the second QOM, Moolman-Pasio made her move and was followed by Armitstead and Longo Borghini. Together, the three bridged the gap to the leaders. With approximately 15 kilometres to go, the three riders together with Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS) got an advantage and stayed away until the finish.
“It was another super team effort again,” Moolman-Pasio said at the end of the stage. “We had a difficult plan to execute but the girls were amazing. Rider of the day again was Clara. She got in the break and when we got there was able to just put the pressure on. Before that Lotta [Lepistö] set me up perfectly and I went from the bottom of the climb. The climb just kept going up and up. In the sprint at the end I just didn’t manage the win but held on for second. It was quite difficult to sprint on the cobbles but it was a good day for us today.”
Unfortunately Stephanie Pohl crashed during the stage and had to abandon. She was taken to hospital for observation.