An incident packed first ever Friends Life Women’s Tour ended today in much the same way as it had begun with big crowds lining the route on another day of changeable - and very windy - spring weather
Matrix Vulpine have taken all the British weather and the race could throw at them and all six riders were still standing to take the start on the final day. Vulpine’s Robin Godden takes up the story.
"The final Stage of the inaugural Women’s Tour set off from a very windy Harwich.
"The blustery conditions didn’t affect the racing with waves of attacks until eventually Emma Pooley & 3 riders went clear gaining a 40 second lead on the bunch.
"Lasting until 10km to go with Wiggle and RaboLiv driving the peloton to bring everyone back together for a bunch sprint on the tight finish in Bury St Edmunds.
"Vos, Branzini & Pieters contested the sprint with Vos taking her 3rd stage and win overall.
"Helen & Jessie came in with the bunch in 50th & 58th and Penny, Harriet, Mel & Jo all finished strongly in front of the big crowds.
"The team raced awesomely, exceeding expectation & impressed on the way.
"Bring on next year!"
Such has been the interest in the race and the team that the BBC sent a film crew to follow them on stage 1 - you can watch their film here.
So what else did we learn from this week’s race? The basic lesson seems to be that when it comes to women’s racing Marianne Vos is the boss. She made it three stage wins in a row taking the sprint in Bury St Edmunds to seal her overall victory, Emma Johansson was second and Rossella Ratto third. Lucy Garner was top Briton finishing 7th -
Lizzie Armitstead who had been in fourth place didn’t start today because of illness. Sharon Laws took the over Queen of the Mountains title.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.