Kasia Niewiadoma wins first-ever OVO Energy Women’s Tour hill-top finish
Canyon//SRAM Racing’s Kasia Niewiadoma made light of inclement conditions to win the OVO Energy Women’s Tour’s first hill-top finish at Burton Dassett Country Park, Warwickshire, on Wednesday.
The Polish rider, who won the 2017 race, outsprinted Team Sunweb’s Liane Lippert after the duo had broken away from the peloton with Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) on the first of three ascents of Burton Dassett.
Longo Borghini’s team-mate Lizzie Deignan finished third on the stage, while German rider Lippert replaces her compatriot Lisa Brennauer (WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling) in the OVO Energy green jersey of race leader with just two stages in Wales to come.
Speaking after taking the victory on a rain-lashed final ascent, Niewiadoma, said, “Once I saw all the stage details I knew this one was for me. I really like this kind of climb – short, punchy; hills where I can really make an advantage over the others. I knew I needed to be there and have a great position at the bottom of the climb and then see what happens.
“I felt like a piece of crap, I felt so bad because of the rain and cold. But once you attack you go into this weird suffering mode, you forget about everything and you just want to get to the line first.
“Once I crossed the finish line, I thought about this morning’s conversation with my boyfriend [professional rider Taylor Phinney] because he woke up and told me I was going to win today. He doesn’t say that often. I thought: ‘OK, he believes in me.”
Lippert moves into the OVO Energy Green jersey, although on equal time with Niewiadoma, and was surprised to take the lead.
“I was already on the team bus when I heard I was in the leader’s jersey and I had to climb off and everyone was cheering for me, it was funny.
“I went all out and saw Kasia in front of me. I tried to get closer but she was super strong and I’m happy with my second place. I first need to realise what just happened. I’m in the leader’s jersey now and it’s my first UCI Women’s WorldTour podium finish ever. I have a really strong team. Now I’m in the jersey but we’ll see. I hope to [win the overall], I will try my best.”
A trio of riders – Charlotte Becker (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope), Femke Markus (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and last year’s Warwickshire winner Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) – built an eight-minute lead. Becker was the first to lose contact from the front on the day’s second SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb with Markus and Roy being caught before the second passage of the finish line at Burton Dassett.
Roy’s efforts earned her the Wahooligan Combativity Award, while Niewiadoma’s victory moves her to within a point of Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans) in the SKODA Queen of the Mountains jersey.
Both the Eisberg Sprints jersey and HSBC UK British Cycling Best British Rider jersey remained on the shoulders of Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) and Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) going into stage five.
The OVO Energy Women’s Tour moves to Wales for stage five on Friday 14 June with Powys hosting the penultimate stage of the race from Llandrindod Wells to Builth Wells. Supported by the Welsh Government, the 140-kilometre (87-mile) route through Powys – the first time the county has welcomed the Women’s Tour – features the SKODA Queen of the Mountains climbs of Gorddwr Bank and Pennau along its unrelenting course.
The total elevation gain of 2,206 metres makes stage five of this year’s race the hardest in the event’s history.
Words by Sweetspot, Images by Chris Maher
Once more the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will offer prize money parity with the men’s Tour of Britain, thanks to award winning independent energy supplier OVO Energy, the title sponsors for a third edition of the race.
• Stage One, Monday 10 June, Beccles to Stowmarket, 157.6km
• Stage Two, Tuesday 11 June, the Kent Cyclopark Stage, 62.5km
• Stage Three, Wednesday 12 June, Henley-on-Thames to Blenheim Palace, 145.1km
• Stage Four, Thursday 13 June, Warwick to Burton Dassett Country Park, 158.9km
• Stage Five, Friday 14 June, Llandrindod Wells to Builth Wells, 140km
• Stage Six, Saturday 15 June, Carmarthen to Pembrey Country Park, 125.9km
Stage Winner 31 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna Canyon / /Sram Racing
Combativity award Wahooligan 51 ROY Sarah Mitchelton Scott
General Classification OVO ENERGY 4 LIPPERT Liane Team Sunweb
Points BREAST CANCER CARE 23 D’HOORE Jolien Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
Queen of the Mountains SKODA 25 MAJERUS Christine Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
Sprints EISBERG 1 RIVERA Coryn Team Sunweb
Best British HSBC UK British Cycling 121 DEIGNAN Elizabeth Trek – Segafredo
Best Team OVO ENERGY Team Sunweb
Stage 4 Top 20
1 31 NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna 00″ CSR POL B:10″
2 4 *LIPPERT Liane ‘ ‘ SUN GER B:06″
3 121 DEIGNAN Elizabeth 07″ TFS GBR B:04″
4 26 PIETERS Amy 09″ DLT NED
5 156 VOLLERING Demi 11″ PHV NED
6 61 BANKS Elizabeth ‘ ‘ BIG GBR
7 66 THOMAS Leah ‘ ‘ BIG USA
8 101 BRENNAUER Lisa ‘ ‘ WNT GER
9 25 MAJERUS Christine 13″ DLT LUX
10 112 *CAVALLI Marta 16″ VAL ITA
11 106 SANTESTEBAN GONZALEZ Ane ‘ ‘ WNT ESP
12 3 KIRCHMANN Leah 18″ SUN CAN
13 14 MARKUS Riejanne ‘ ‘ CCC NED
14 53 BROWN Grace 22″ MTS AUS
15 113 CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia ‘ ‘ VAL ITA
16 95 NEYLAN Rachel ‘ ‘ TVC AUS
17 104 MAGNALDI Erica ‘ ‘ WNT ITA
18 135 JASINSKA Malgorzata ‘ ‘ MOV POL
19 125 VAN DIJK Ellen 28″ TFS NED
20 142 CHAPMAN Brodie ‘ ‘ TIB AUS
GC Top 1 after Stage 4
1 4 00″ SUN GER 13h47’56″* LIPPERT Liane
2 31 ‘ ‘ CSR POL ‘ ‘NIEWIADOMA Katarzyna
3 121 03″ TFS GBR 13h47’59″DEIGNAN Elizabeth
4 101 07″ WNT GER 13h48’03″BRENNAUER Lisa
5 26 09″ DLT NED 13h48’05″PIETERS Amy
6 156 24″ PHV NED 13h48’20″VOLLERING Demi
7 25 26″ DLT LUX 13h48’22″MAJERUS Christine
8 113 28″ VAL ITA 13h48’24″CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia
9 61 31″ BIG GBR 13h48’27″BANKS Elizabeth
10 66 ‘ ‘ BIG USA ‘ ‘THOMAS Leah