Words by SweetSpot, Images by Chris Maher
Katarzyna Niewadoma wins the opening stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour!
Katarzyna Niewadoma solos to victory in the opening stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, taking the win in Daventry, Northamptonshire by 1-minute and 42 seconds over teammate Marianne Vos.
The 23-year-old Polish Road & Time Trial Champion, on her first visit to the UK, put in an impeccable display of riding, breaking away with 47-kilometres remaining, to claim her first ever UCI Women’s WorldTour win of 2017.
“When I attacked I wasn’t really thinking. I just chose the moment” said Niewadoma speaking to the assembled press afterwards. “It can be a good opportunity to go away. I expected somebody to join me, unfortunately I was alone and I was thinking ‘Oh no, there’s 50km to go, there’s a lot of wind, there are hills!’ I wasn’t sure if I could gain a lot of seconds but I was really motivated to keep pushing.”
Niewadoma built a three-minute lead at one point, but Boels Dolmans worked hard to reduce the deficit, but such was the WM3 rider’s spirit that she stayed away to celebrate a memorable solo win, gesturing to the pink ribbon in her hair as she crossed the Kettering finish line.
“A lot of the time I was thinking about the girl who wrote my Breast Cancer Care pink ribbon; somehow I felt a lot of energy from her. I felt that we could do it. It’s so crazy; normally races like this end up in a bunch sprint, and I knew that there are a lot of teams here like Ale Cipollini and Sunweb who want a bunch sprint, so I thought they would chase me hard. When I saw the 15-kilometre to go sign I knew I had to go full and see what happened. I’m so happy that I could win here.”
Niewadoma now wears the OVO Energy Green Jersey heading to Stoke-on-Trent for Stage Two and leads by 1-minute and 46-seconds over Vos, with Christine Majerus a further two seconds in arrears before 15-riders sit at 1-minute 52-seconds.
The WM3 Pro Cycling rider also takes the Wiggle Points Jersey following the opening stage, while Wiggle HIGH5 rider Audrey Cordon Ragot claimed maximum points at both SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb to take that jersey after day one.
Lisa Klein of Cervelo Bigla took the Eisberg Sprints jersey on count-back, being tied at the top of the standings with Jolien D’hoore.
Alice Barnes, in seventh, was the top Brit, donning the Adnams Best British Rider Jersey in her home county.
“I’ve not raced a WorldTour event for about a month now,” said Barnes speaking to the assembled press afterwards. “I’ve done a lot of training for this race and a top 10 would have been a really nice target, so I’m happy with how it went.
“The wind wasn’t as much of a factor as I thought it would be. It started off with a tailwind but we were always pretty bunched up. Up the climbs we raced really hard. Niewiadoma went away and we didn’t chase as much as I thought we would. All the big teams were looking at each other. With it being a five-day race over long stages, I don’t think anybody wanted to show their hand too early. She’s a strong rider so she got her gap pretty quickly.”
Britain's Alice Cobb abandon's after the first stage of the OVO Women's Tour.
“I was caught in a crash around forty-kilometres in” Speaking to Cobb afterwards “I spent eighty-kilometres trying to get back on, there was no assistance” She said disappointingly! Alice hasn’t fully recovered from a virus she caught early in the season and has spent seven weeks off the bike lately. Having good days, then bad she went on to say it’s difficult to tell how will go, day-to-day. Alice has resigned herself to time off the bike and a full recovery program. “This season’s pretty much over” she said with a heavy heart. We wish her well.
1 34 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna 00″ WM3 POL B:10″
2 31 VOS Marianne 01’42” WM3 NED B:06″
3 4 MAJERUS Christine ‘ ‘ DLT LUX B:04″
4 22 BRONZINI Giorgia ‘ ‘ WHT ITA
5 75 CROMWELL Tiffany ‘ ‘ LPR AUS
6 151 SIGGAARD Christina ‘ ‘ TVW DEN
7 81 *BARNES Alice ‘ ‘ DRP GBR
8 11 MOOLMAN-PASIO Ashleigh ‘ ‘ CBT RSA
9 143 CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia ‘ ‘ LWK ITA
10 114 FOURNIER Roxane ‘ ‘ FDJ FRA
11 104 MOBERG Emilie ‘ ‘ HPU NOR
12 161 ARCHIBALD Katie ‘ ‘ WNT GBR
13 52 KIRCHMANN Leah ‘ ‘ SUN CAN
14 73 BARNES Hannah ‘ ‘ LPR GBR
15 13 *LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup ‘ ‘ CBT DEN
16 61 HOSKING Chloe ‘ ‘ ALE AUS
17 55 VAN DIJK Ellen ‘ ‘ SUN NED
18 82 DURRELL Rebecca ‘ ‘ DRP GBR
19 46 ROY Sarah 01’49” ORS AUS
20 91 KING Danielle ‘ ‘
Roll of Honor on Stage 1, Daventry to Kettering
Green OVO ENERGY 34 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna Wm3 Pro Cycling Team POL
Points WIGGLE 34 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna Wm3 Pro Cycling Team POL
Queen of the Mountains SKODA 23 CORDON RAGOT Audrey Wiggle High5 FRA
Sprints EISBERG 14 KLEIN Lisa Cervelo – Bigla Pro Cycling Team GER
Best British ADNAMS 81 BARNES Alice Drops GBR
Best Team OVO ENERGY Wm3 Pro Cycling Team
Tomorrow’s Race Route Stoke-on-Trent to Stoke-on-Trent