Lepistö contests sprint stage one of Aviva Womens Tour
The opening stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour saw Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team get the race off to a good start with Lotta Lepistö sprinting to fifth. Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) won the stage, becoming the first leader of this edition of the British race. Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) and Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5) rounded out the podium.
Lepistö was well positioned in the front of the peloton that chased down lone attacker Alison Tetrick (Cylance). The American went solo with 25 kilometres to go and quickly got an advantage of 2 minutes. An unpredictable final ensued as the peloton only caught her within 50 metres of the finish line.
Lepistö contested the technical run-in into Norwich and was satisfied with her result.
“The weather was really nice. We had sunny and dry conditions,” she said. “I had some technical problems in the middle of the race and had to change my bike. I think the bunch here is really strong. There’s some really good riders here and it’s going to be a hard week. In the final it was really really hard and I managed fifth. I gave it my best today.”
As the peloton increased the pace in pursuit of Tetrick, tensions were high and a crash occurred with 1 kilometre to go. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was involved in the crash but escaped any serious injury.
Lepistö and Moolman-Pasio were both present in a 20-rider group that escaped off the front of the peloton after the second Queen of the mountain segment. The peloton were not content to let them go and they were reeled in after a fierce chase.
Lepistö sits sixth overall after today’s efforts. The race continues tomorrow with the longest stage, 140,6 kilometres from Atherstone to Stratford-Upon-Avon.