Pieters takes Women's Tour stage two as Armitstead retains Best British Jersey

Pieters takes Women's Tour stage two as Armitstead retains Best British Jersey

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Amy Pieters took the second stage of the Aviva Women's Tour in a photo-finish as Marianne Vos claimed the yellow jersey and the overall lead, 26-months after she won the race.

The Wiggle HIGH5 rider sprinted to victory in the centre of Stratford at the end of a 140-kilometre stage through Warwickshire, heading home a 27-rider group soaked by heavy rain showers throughout the stage.

Pieters headed reigning Aviva Women's Tour champion Lisa Brennauer and Vos in a photo finish, with Orica AIS rider Gracie Elvin fourth and overnight leader Christine Majerus fifth.

Marianne Vos now holds a three-second lead over Majerus, with Pieters a further four seconds back after commissaires overnight annulled the time gaps from the Stage One finish on review of the final three kilometres, resetting the race going into the Warwickshire stage.

The reigning Olympic Road Race Champion won the inaugural Women's Tour in 2014, but missed last year's edition through injury. 

Despite often inclement weather conditions the stage was another fast paced affair, with lots of attacking riding, no rider more so than Ale Cipollini's Emilia Fahlin, who was twice away in moves off the front of the race, the second time alone.

The Swede was caught on the first Strava Queen of the Mountains climb at Burton Dassett, with Amalie Dideriksen and Malgorzata Jasinska the next duo to stay away, building a gap of 50-seconds, which was steadily whittled down by the speeding bunch.

The pair were caught by the small lead group with less than 20-kilometres of racing remaining and despite a flurry of attacks on the run in, the leaders hit the final kilometre together, with Pieters pipping Brennauer by the narrowest of margins.

Marianne Vos also moves into the lead of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points classification, with a three-point lead over Majerus, who is then ten-points clear of Pieters.

Lizzie Armitstead retains the Best British Rider jersey

Lizzie Armitstead finished safely in the front group in 18th to remain the highest placed British rider overall in the Adnams Best British Rider jersey. Jessie Walker was the best finisher in Great Britain Cycling Team colours, taking 45th place, just under five minutes behind Pieters.

Annasley Park is the best placed Great Britain Cycling Team rider in the general classification in 49th, five minutes and 14 seconds behind Vos.

The Strava Queen of the Mountains jersey also changed hands, moving to UnitedHealthcare's Katie Hall, two points ahead of Ilona Hoeksma.

Her compatriot Floortje Mackaij retains the Best Young Rider jersey presented by Stoke-on-Trent, European City of Sport 2016, but is equal on time with Danish champion Dideriksen and Brit Molly Weaver, the trio 1-minute 03-seconds up on the fourth placed young rider.

Highlights of Stage Two will be shown on ITV4 at 9pm on Thursday 16 June, with a repeat on Friday afternoon at 12:35. The programme will also be available on demand via the ITV Hub catch-up service for 30-days.

Stage three sees the Aviva Women's Tour head to Derbyshire and into the Peak District National Park, heading from Ashbourne to Chesterfield and including the mid-stage climb of Bank Road in Matlock, which later this year will play host to the National Hill Climb Championships.

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