This very famous race in UK, is divided in five stages. It looks very easy on paper, but it takes a fit athlete with loads of experience to attempt it in the first place. The road gets narrow at some places and twisted at others. The direction of the wind also plays a critical factor in tiring the contestants.
Let’s take a look at this race in detail and examine it through the various underlying stages it is passing through:
1. Stage 1: Wednesday, May 7 Oundle to Northampton, 93.8km, Emma Johansson Declared Winner
Day one at Racing Women’s Tour 2014 saw huge crowds lined all along the route till Northampton. With Emma Johanssona taking an early lead in the race and completing it in 2 hours, 28 minutes and 29 seconds, she beat Lizzie Armistead, the winner of several races in the past. Lizzie claimed it was her overexcitement, which lead rival Johansson to win. Hanna Barnes from the nearby Towcester took the third place and was very happy for her achievement.
2. Stage 2: Thursday, May 8 Hinckley to Bedford, 118.5km
This stage is as undulating as the first one and also covers the longest distance. Till Brixworth it is a tough ride, after which the roads become wider. A fast finish is expected at Bedford and followed by a bunch spirit at the end. The final corner before the Embankment is the key point, where 300 meters are to go. The key riders at this stage are expected to be Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) or Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv).the 19 year old Brit Lucy Garner is also a hot favorite.
3. Stage 3: Friday, May 9 Felixstowe to Clacton-on-Sea, 90.5km
This stage is likely to be affected by the wind. It looks pretty flat till Felixstowe. The Dutch teams stand to gain as they have more experience of riding in windy conditions. The route reaches the coasts after crossing through the in-town of Ipswich. There are two sprints at Little Bealings and Thorpe-le-Soken and two Strava QoMs at Freston and Holbrook.
4. Stage 4: Stage four: Saturday, May 10 Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City, 87.8km
Stage 4, the cyclists will run through tracks at Welwyn Garden City, where lies the first cement track that was raced by Victoria Pendleton. The track is not going to be as fast as the tracks for the past two days. The riders will be taking the final climb towards the finish line via a relatively gentle climb a Digswell Hill, the key point in the stage.
5. Stage 5: Sunday, May 11 Harwich to Bury St Edmunds 108.3km
Very similar to the first stage, the last stage tracks feature twisting and winding roads with an extremely technical finish, one that is highly challenging. At this stage nearing the end, there is only room for a single lead out, so whichever team gets into the 100-150 meters first is going to be the potential winner.
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