Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) took the honours in Daventry on Thursday when she won stage 2 of the OVO Energy Women's Tour in a photo-finish sprint against Marianne Vos (WaowDeals), also moving into the overall race lead.
Rivera said after the race that she profited from a strong team that was at full strength on the last 40 km, highlighting the work of Floortje Mackaij and Ellen van Dijk in the finale.
"It was a super hard day on the road with some climbs and a lot of wind. We had all of the girls there in the last lap, and they did a great lead-out to the bottom of the final climb. Floortje Mackaij was riding really well today, she did a monster pull to pace me on the climb, and I was in the front group over the top. Ellen van Dijk was there as well, she went to the front and strung it out to make sure nobody could come back from behind."
In the final kilometre, Rivera was on Vos' wheel, and she timed her sprint well, just beating the European champion on the line. "I knew it was a technical final, so I stayed patient and made sure I was in the right place at the right time. Luckily my sprint was really good today, and so was the bike throw. It was super close with Marianne, I think it all came down to the bike throw."
Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) was part of the elite breakaway that got away on the first ascent of Newnham Hill. The Italian champion attacked again on the final climb with less than three kilometres to go, but could soon tell that her move was not going to be successful. "I tried to attack and then I went fast downhill, but they caught me in the last kilometre. It was one long line of riders, and my gap wasn't really worth mentioning because I only had 50 metres!"
Longo Borghini's attacks on the climbs brought her another reward, though, as she took the lead in the mountain classification where she now has a ten-point buffer on today's third place, Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans).
Maaike Boogaard (BTC City Ljubljana) led the race for a long time with a solo breakaway. The 19-year-old Dutchwoman likes to race aggressively but had not planned to go on the attack all by herself.
"After the second sprint, I gave it a try, hoping that some others would join me. That was not the case, so I just went on my own. The gap went up quickly, it was a shock really when they told me I had four minutes. I knew they would probably catch me before the first hill sprint, but why not keep going and see where it goes."
The OVO Energy Women's Tour continues on Friday with stage 3, 150.4 km from Atherstone to Royal Leamington Spa.
Watch video highlights from stage 2 below.
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