Kopecky crowned overall winner of the 2024 Lloyds Tour of Britain Women

Kopecky crowned overall winner of the Tour of Britain Women

Lotte Kopecky took the overall race victory and Ruby Roseman-Gannon clinched the final stage in a dramatic sprint finish at the 2024 Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women in Leigh.

A flurry of attacks kicked off the racing out of the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, with the UCI Continental teams pushing the pace, before Krista Doebel-Hickok (Human Powered Health) made the first big move of the day. As she started to ascend Grains Bar for the first Queen of the Mountains, the Great Britain Cycling Team and Liv-Alula-Jayco chased hard, catching the lone rider and stringing out the bunch. 

As the peloton reached the brow of the hill, Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain Cycling Team) pushed on in the Queen of the Mountains jersey, passing the finish line of the 2.4km climb to take the maximum points before continuing to forge on alone.

Anna Henderson (Great Britain Cycling Team) kept the pace steady in the peloton to allow Deignan to establish a 30 second gap on the descent into Shaw. As she continued to extend her advantage, Deignan provisionally held the GC lead, before SD Worx-Protime started to push on the front of the peloton. A surprise attack from Charlotte Kool (Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL) in the windy and wet moorlands looked like it could be significant but was quickly foiled as Deignan’s lead extended to a minute.

Hitting the iconic Rake climb in Ramsbottom, Deignan showed her determination, powering up the steep gradients through gritted teeth, while attacks started to come thick and fast from behind. A chasing group including big hitters Letizia Paternoster (Liv-Alula-Jayco), Franziska Koch (Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL), Kool, Henderson, and Kopecky broke away, with Deignan cresting the climb to claim maximum points and secure the overall Queen of the Mountains classification by a good margin.

As Deignan descended, the chasing peloton attacked again, with a group including British champion Pfeiffer Georgi (Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL), Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-ProTime) Christine Majerus (SD Worx-ProTime), Henderson, Kopecky, and Paternoster forming at around the halfway mark. 

A flurry of counter attacks from both Liv-Alula-Jayco, Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL and SD Worx-ProTime saw Deignan eventually reeled back into the main bunch on the descent into Darwen after a commendable effort which saw her awarded the Combativity award. 

With the pressure of the attacks and undulating terrain, the bunch was strung out with pockets of riders over the course. The peloton continued to ebb and flow on the run into the intermediate sprint in Horwich, with Majerus, Wiebes and Paternoster going head-to-head, and a photo finish giving the maximum points to Majerus. 

Soon after, British teammates Henderson and Deignan made a surprise attack to break away from the peloton, before Georgi, Kopecky and Paternoster bridged over as Deignan’s earlier efforts saw her drop back to the peloton. It looked like the front group of four would be battling it out for the podium positions, gaining a gap of 40 seconds, but a lack of cohesion and attacks from the peloton saw their move foiled inside the last 15km. 

Moves from Paternoster, Wiebes and Koch made for an exciting run into Leigh, with Paternoster’s place on the GC podium scuppered by a puncture inside the last 5km, which saw her dropped from the bunch.

Reaching the final bend into the finish, Kopecky was well ahead, and kept her sprint in check to offer her teammate, Majerus, the win. Disaster struck for SD Worx-ProTime as Roseman-Gannon came storming through and lunged for the line as Majerus sat up to celebrate, gifting the Australian national champion the win. Majerus clung on for second, while Wiebes finished third, and Kopecky took fourth – her place as GC leader well and truly secured. 

Kopecky also took the sprinter’s jersey, while Deignan’s fantastic climbing and punchy power saw her take the Queen of the Mountains jersey with ease. Jansen performed well beyond her years to keep the Best Young Rider jersey, while Henderson’s second place finish on the GC saw her crowned Best British rider. SD Worx-ProTime’s strength in depth secured them the overall team classification, while Lifeplus-Wahoo’s determination in the face of adversity saw them awarded the Combativity team award.

Speaking on the final stage, Kopecky said: “It was really cold and hectic – some nice steep climbs. In the end, we were always in control. We made the choice to go for Christine in the sprint, and we did it perfectly until the last gap around the corner. It was too big for me so I was not going to take the win as I saw Christine going. We made this deal that she is going to win today but maybe it was a stupid mistake. I still, however, would have done the same. It could have been a nice ending for Christine, but we finished well as a team.

“Ruby is a good rider so it was nice for her but I am happy that Christine got the bonus seconds to get third so it is nice. Maybe it is a little funny and it is what it is and I’m not disappointed.”

Stage winner, Roseman-Gannon, said: “I just can’t believe it – the plan today was to really race aggressively and take some seconds back. We had a really good team ride and they were actually smashing that first climb. I was actually struggling and then there was full commitment into the next climb and some selections made.

“We really wanted to get Letizia out there, but unfortunately she got a puncture so it didn’t go to plan. I asked whether I should go back, they said no and to focus on the finish. I still can’t believe I have won that – it’s my first European win and I’m still in shock.”

“It’s when you really don’t expect it, some races you come in as a leader and you have a lot of pressure, and other races you come in and it all works out. Today I was pretty worried about the rain and I was nervous about crashing and I wasn’t really in the right mindset that I was going to win the race, but to win is amazing. Overall it was a great race!”

Queen of the Mountains winner, Deignan, said: “[The solo attack] was kind of by accident to be honest, I was just really going for the points on the mountain and saw a gap and thought well there’s nothing to lose now! I’ve got the jersey secured, I was just trying to put Anna in a good position. It was a nice atmosphere, I heard my name lots of times, lots of Yorkshire flags, and I knew the kids were at the finish line too so it was a lovely day. I think it was a success, obviously we came here trying to win overall, but Anna did a brilliant job on the GC.”

Best British rider, Henderson added: “It was a good day for the team. We took the Queen of the Mountains with Lizzie, and then finished off with me finishing second in GC. A really nice few days with the girls – the way they protected us really well. The day was special.

“Lizzie did such a good job. She really put SD Worx[ProTime] under pressure, she was really amazing. She kept on attacking to set me up so I got away with the favourites each time but I just couldn’t get away solo to put that gap between me and Lotte, she was just too strong today. She is the champion, shoutout to her for winning.”

More information on the 2024 Tour of Britain Men, which takes place from 3-8 September, will be published in the summer.

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