OVO Energy Women’s Tour: Rivera wins the overall

Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) took the honours in Colwyn Bay after an aggressively raced final stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, beating Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance) and Marta Bastianelli (Alé Cipollini) to the line.

Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) finished the stage in eighth place to win the general classification. Although she didn’t race, Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) continues to lead the UCI Women’s WorldTour overall standings.

Covering 122.6 km from Dolgellau to Colwyn Bay, stage 5 crossed the Snowdonia National Park in North West Wales. There were two intermediate sprints, and the main difficulties were the two climbs of Bwlch-y-Maen (category 2) and Nant Gwynant (category 1), though over 50 km remained from the top of the latter to the finish line.

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The first rider to get away was Maaike Boogaard (BTC City Ljubljana). The young Dutchwoman was reeled in after a few kilometres, but was awarded the overall combativity prize after the stage for her aggressive riding. Next to attack was Emilie Moberg (Team Virtu Cycling) who was joined by Marta Tagliaferro (Cylance), Susanne Andersen (Hitec Products-Birk Sport), and Natalie Grinczer (WNT Rotor). At the first intermediate sprint after 33 km, the four had an advantage of 1:35 minutes.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) attacked from the peloton on the Bwlch-y-Maen climb. She was caught soon, but so was the break; and the high speed forced a split, with only 15 riders reaching the top at the front. Following a regrouping after the descent, Marta Bastianelli went on the attack and built a one-minute gap. Bastianelli’s advantage came down on the Nant Gwynant climb, and Georgia Williams (Mitchelton-Scott) and Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) bridged to the Italian, but they were all caught on the descent.

There were a number of moves on the last 40 km, but Rivera’s Team Sunweb controlled the race and didn’t let anyone get away. With 19 km to go, the Dutch team then put both Lucinda Brand and Rivera into an elite group with Niewiadoma, Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5), and Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans). But this star-studded break never got a gap bigger than 16 seconds and was caught just after the 10-kilometre mark.

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