Stage one of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour got underway in Daventry with 147.5km of rolling racing in store for the riders.
With Lydia Boylan, Elise Maes, Natalie Grinczer and Eileen Roe making their debut in the Women’s World Tour event, the highest classification in professional women’s racing. Katie Archibald and Hayley Jones would make a return to the race for the 3rd and 2nd time respectively.
With 40mph winds at the start it was set to be a hard stage. With Katie Archibald being protected by the team throughout the stage to keep her as fresh as possible, Archibald would go on to finish 12th in Kettering on the uphill finish, whilst Scottish teammate Eileen Roe finished in 23rd, it meant the team placed in 9th overall on the stage.
Stage 2, was a damp start in Stoke-on-Trent, a city the team know well, as four weeks ago, exactly Archibald would take the win, whilst Eileen Roe would place 4th in round two of the Matrix Fitness GP Tour Series.
After 9km of racing of the 144.5km stage, Elise Maes was involved in a crash, then suffered a mechanical which made for a hard first 40km to the stage for the Luxembourgish rider. Lydia Boylan and Hayley Jones also suffered punctures on the wet, country roads of Staffordshire.
Stage two included two Skoda Queen of the Mountains category 1 climbs, Ipstones and Gun Hill would be the decisive sections in the race, whilst the two Eisberg intermediate sprints would come in the first 94km of the race. The team set Katie Archibald to take points in the first intermediate sprint, however with a two rider break away, Katie could only take a maximum of 3rd place, but with Hayley Jones putting her into the perfect position, Katie took the remaining points as well as a 1 second time bonus to help her general classification hopes. There was a breakaway during the second Eisberg intermediate sprint, so Katie was unable to score there.
Into the finish, Natalie Grinczer helped Archibald stay in the hunt for the stage win whilst in the last 8km there was multiple attacks by other teams. Katie would finish 24th whilst Natalie Grinczer finished 32nd. The stage was won by Amy Pieters of Boels-Dolmans.
After stage 2, Team WNT Pro Cycling sit 11th on the overall teams classification whilst Archibald maintains her top 15 on general classification of 13th place.