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The Women's Tour

A road captain’s view of six rain-streaked days of racing at the 2019 Women’s Tour from CANYON//SRAM’s experienced Australian Tiffany Cromwell.

21 June 2019

In just five years the Women’s Tour has been transformed from a pipeline project into one of the most prestigious races on the women’s calendar. A world-class field fight it out on routes that are among the longest tackled all year for prize money that is equal to that offered at the men’s Tour of Britain. Thousands of fans line the road each day and, for those who can’t make it, there is a daily highlights show broadcast on national TV.

Beset by bad weather for much of the week, the 2019 edition was arguably the toughest yet. We caught up with Tiff immediately after the race to reflect on a successful week for her CANYON//SRAM team, who raced in a switch out kit to celebrate our upcoming Women’s 100 rides on Saturday, 14th September.

STAGE 1

Beccles–Stowmarket, 157km

This tour has had some of the longest stages we’ve ever done. We race one-day races this long but to have consecutive stages is tough. The Women’s Tour is about showing that we’re serious.

It was a long stage and the weather didn’t help. It was all smiles and shiny new bikes at the start and long stares like Alice’s at the end.

STAGE 2

Cyclopark Crit, 63km

Elena Cecchini attacks and rides several laps solo. Though the stage win is decided in a bunch sprint, Elena makes the team’s intentions for the rest of the week clear, taking the award for most aggressive rider.

There were some question marks about including a circuit race as a stage in a WorldTour event but this stage was great. Elena Cecchini snagged the most aggressive rider award for us and then Vos won the sprint, you can’t be too upset with being beaten by her.

STAGE 3

Henley–Blenheim, 145km

I wasn’t sure which way this stage would go. The terrain was more undulating so there was a chance for a breakaway win but it ended up coming back together. There was a huge crash just before the intermediate sprint point where a lot of girls went down at over 50kph.

I was really lucky to make it through with about twenty others but, with so many riders down, the race was rightly neutralised for a while. Our team broke three bikes in a single crash.

STAGE 4

Warwick–Burton Dassett, 159km

Kasia Niewiadoma takes victory on the race’s very first summit finish, besting Liane Lippert and going into second overall.

We did a few reps of the climb and Kasia went on the first time over. It was a perfect move which suited our ambitions for the stage and the overall classification.

I was at the bottom of the climb with Hannah when we found out that Kasia had won from a fan shouting by the road. It was so nice to pedal up the last few metres with her, knowing that we had won. We are a tight team unit and it all came together that day.

STAGE 5

Llandrindod Wells–Builth Wells, 140km

This was a really tough day. Hannah Barnes did amazing work to pace Kasia on the climbs. She was able to stick with Lizzie Deignan when she attacked but Lippert went with them. Two Trek against Kasia was not ideal but I told her to ride with them.

At the finish, Lizzie was able to outsprint Kasia as she has a really strong kick. We were just one second behind on GC heading into the final day so it was all still to play for.

STAGE 6

Camarthen – Pembrey Country Park, 126km

Make no mistake, we raced this stage with the intention of winning the race overall. We always believe in each other, especially in Kasia, and still had four strong support riders left. We were ready to turn ourselves inside out but it was always going to be a tough ask up against an equally strong Trek team with a former world champion as their leader.

It was one of the hardest days out I’ve had in a very long time. There was this climb near the start and my legs started to fall off. Alice Barnes and I got dropped there and thought ‘ah s**t, this is going to be a tough day.’ Luckily, our legs came good and we made it to the finish to see Kasia crowned Queen of the Mountains.

Women's 100

On Saturday, 14th September, the Women’s 100 will bring cyclists – including many of the CANYON//SRAM team – around the world together to ride 100 kilometres. Tried and tested by the team, our celebratory kit collection ensures that, wherever you ride, we are all connected.

Women's 100 Souplesse Aero Jersey

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Women's 100 Core Jersey

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Women's 100 Core Bib Shorts

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Women's 100 T-Shirt

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Women's 100 Socks

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Women's 100 Cap

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