Coryn Rivera wins 2018 OVO Energy Women’s Tour as Lotta Lepistö claims Welsh finale
Team Sunweb’s Coryn Rivera became the fifth different winner of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour as she finished Sunday’s first-ever Welsh stage into Colwyn Bay – won by Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) – safely within the bunch.
Lepistö, who previously won the race’s final stage in 2016, out-sprinted Giorgia Broznini (Cylance Pro Cycling), overall runner-up Marianne Vos (WaowDeals Pro Cycling) and Marta Bastianelli (Alé Cipollini) on the Welsh seaside town’s Promenade.
Despite crashing heavily during Saturday’s fourth stage, Vos’ team-mate Dani Rowe finished the 122-kilometre stage in the front group to maintain her third place on GC. She trailed Rivera by 25 seconds, while Vos ended up being just 11 seconds shy of the overall victory.
“Being in the leader’s jersey is all about being in control, having everything cool and under control,” said Rivera following her first UCI Women’s WorldTour stage race victory. “The girls and I did really well at that. We set a really good pace on the climbs, there were a few attacks but eventually they came back.
“I’m really proud to have taken the win, the jersey belongs to the whole team.”
Commenting on the victory for Team Sunweb, coach Hans Timmermans added: “We can be super proud of the team. What they showed today and through the whole week is out-standing. They controlled the whole race and paced on the climbs; they were so strong that no one could attack. It’s really amazing and the win can only be for the whole team, they were super strong and executed the plan to perfection in the end.”
The stage once again boiled down to a sprint, albeit from a significantly reduced peloton, with Finnish national champion Lepistö coming out on top.
A number of riders had tried to escape in early moves as the race headed through Gwynedd in overcast conditions but none were a significant threat to the overall lead of Rivera, as Team Sunweb continued to control the race.
Team WNT Rotor Pro Cycling’s Natalie Grinczer won the daily Combativity Award.
Lucinda Brand of the Dutch team led the race over the first SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb at Bwlch-y-Maen, while former World Road Race Champion Marta Bastianelli (Alé Cipollini) was first to the top of the day’s main climb at Nant Gwynant below Snowdon.
A select group of five, containing Rivera, Sunweb team-mate Brand, Amy Pieters, last year’s winner Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM) and SKODA Queen of the Mountains Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle HIGH5) went clear with 20 kilometres remaining, but were reeled approaching Deganwy following