Doebel-Hickok wins second stage of Tour des Pyrénées to take overall lead

PLANCHE DES BELLES FILLES FRANCE JULY 31 Kristabel Doebel-Hickok of United States and Team EF Education Tibco Svb competes during the 1st Tour de France Femmes 2022 Stage 8 a 1233km stage from Lure to La Super Planche des Belles Filles TDFF UCIWWT on July 31 2022 in Planche des Belles Filles France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images
Krista Doebel-Hickok ofEF Education-TIBCO-SVB (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Krista Doebel-Hickok won the second stage of the CIC Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées on Friday and took the overall race lead. 

The EF Education-TIBCO-SVB rider attacked from the breakaway group of five riders in the closing kilometres in Pau, looked back several times and crossed the line five seconds ahead of Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon-SRAM). The remaining trio fought for the final spot on the podium, Coralie Demay (St Michel-Auber93) taking third ahead of Greta Marturano (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) and Eri Yonamine (Human Powered Health). 

The main bunch of riders crossed the line in Pau 4:25 later, with Zoe Bäckstedt (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) leading the way for seventh place.

It was a busy day of racing for the inaugural stage race, as 17 women’s teams began Friday morning with the team time trial, won by EF Education-TIBCO-SVB and putting Emily Newsom in the first yellow leader’s jersey. A few hours later the riders set off on a 75.93km hilly course around Pau for stage 1b, with four categorised climbs.

After 45 minutes of racing, a six-rider breakaway was established that included Yonamine, Doebel-Hickok, Morgane Coston (Arkéa Pro Cycling), Marturano, Bauernfeind and Demay. Erica Clevenger (Team USA) would make a connection with the group later, but was dropped on the third of four climbs along with Coston.

Five riders continued to drive the pace in the breakaway with 2.5km to go on a local finishing circuit, which proved a perfect launching pad to victory for Doebel-Hickok, who last won individual stages at the Tour of the Gila in May.

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