Home » Tour of Britain Women: Kopecky wins again but bike thefts cloud stage two

Tour of Britain Women: Kopecky wins again but bike thefts cloud stage two

The world champion, Lotte Kopecky, made it back-to-back wins after a sprint finish but overnight bike thefts meant stage two of the Tour of Britain Women began under a cloud.

Kopecky, of the SD Worx-Protime team, powered up the Horseshoe Pass in Wales to form a breakaway with the British rider Anna Henderson before beating her companion with a blistering turn of pace at the finish in Wrexham.

The peloton was watched by a healthy number of spectators over the first 30km before Franziska Koch (Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL) made the first big move of the day and led until the 93km mark, when she was swallowed up by the peloton.

The race truly came to life when Kopecky showed her class, accelerating away effortlessly with Henderson straight on her wheel. Henderson and Kopecky continued to build a considerable lead on the peloton, with the gap growing to 38 seconds coming into the final 10km of the race.

Heading into Wrexham, Henderson tried to mount a last gasp attack on the world champion but was no match for Kopecky. Lidl-Trek’s Lizzie Deignan also attacked, finishing fifth to keep her Queen of the Mountains jersey. After two stages Kopecky leads Henderson by 17 seconds in the general classification.

“It couldn’t have gone better, I am really happy with today’s race. It was nice to get Anna with me in the break today, and I wasn’t prepared to try something after the longer climb,” Kopecky said. “I knew what the finish would look like, and I didn’t panic, and it’s been another really good day for our team.”

The Lifeplus-Wahoo cycling team were able to start stage two of the race on Friday despite 14 of their bikes being stolen overnight in Shropshire.

The Lifeplus-Wahoo team before the opening stage of the Tour of Britain Women. Photograph: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com/Shutterstock

Lifeplus had a promising start to the race during Thursday’s opening stage as Heidi Franz took maximum points in the formidable first Queen of the Mountains climb in Llangynog. However, the UK-based team discovered on Friday their mechanic’s van had been broken into at Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel in Whitchurch, which put in doubt their stage two participation.

“We woke this morning to find all 14 of our Ribble Endurance SLR bikes stolen from our mechanic’s van,” read a Lifeplus statement on Friday morning. Lifeplus revealed they hoped to find a “solution” to enable them to start stage two in Wrexham and the generosity of rival teams ensured they could continue their participation in the Tour of Britain.

A further statement by Lifeplus added: “All of our thanks and appreciation goes out to the many teams that offered and gave their spare team bikes and their mechanics time to get our girls on the road. We wouldn’t be starting without them!”

Meanwhile, Primoz Roglic won stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné to take the race lead heading into the final two stages. The Tour de France contender surged forward in the gruelling final climb to Le Collet d’Allevard to snatch his second stage win on the race and dislodge his Belgian arch-rival Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) from top spot.

Primoz Roglic celebrates after winning stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Photograph: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images

As planned, the outcome of the race was decided in the last ascent, in which the Frenchman Romain Grégoire remained the last escaper standing until 3 km from the finish. But then the GC leaders fought back and Roglic, with a little help from BORA-hansgrohe teammate Aleksandr Vlasov, took the upper hand, crossing the line ahead of Italy’s Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek).