Jolien D’hoore sprinted to victory on the streets of London as Katarzyna Niewiadoma held onto the OVO Energy Green Jersey to claim the overall victory in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour as it finished at the heart of the capital.
The Polish national champion won the opening stage in Northamptonshire, and has held the race lead ever since, finishing ahead of Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus and British Champion Hannah Barnes, who moved up to third overall thanks to bonus seconds on the final day.
“I’m super happy. I think that’s the only word that can describe my feelings,” said Niewiadoma after the race.
“At our first team meeting we said that we wanted to have a good race and that we wanted to fight for a good result. We knew that the first day was good for a bunch sprint; our strong bullet for it was Marianne [Vos].
"All of us had opportunities; we could do whatever we wanted if felt we could. In that moment when I attacked I saw a small hill in front of me. I tried, nobody followed – I wanted somebody to join me – but I had no choice but to keep pushing!"
In addition to her overall victory Niewiadoma also moved into the lead of the UCI Women’s WorldTour following the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, overtaking erstwhile leader Olympic Champion Anna van der Breggen.
Runner-up Christine Majerus took added the Eisberg Sprints Jersey to the Wiggle Points Jersey, clinching the former after her and three Boels Dolmans team took the race by storm in London, forcing an eight-rider group clear that contested both intermediate Eisberg Sprints, handing Majerus the jersey and Barnes third overall.
That also gave Hannah the Adnams Best British Rider Jersey, at the end of a week long battle with her younger sister Alice, and coming 18-months on from a prolonged injury lay-off with a broken leg.
“It’s been a really hard week. Unfortunately we lost Ale [Alena Amialiusik] to a really bad crash on Stage Three so we only had five riders and yesterday’s stage was really hard, but it came back together, which helped us. I knew I pretty much had to win both intermediate sprints and place well in the sprint to finish on the podium today and I managed to do that.
“I’ve been working really hard and this was one of the big targets of the year for me. I’m pleased I came into it strongly. The first day I didn’t feel great, it felt like it was going to be a really bad five days. But it helps that I can ride into a stage race and I think my training going into the race has paid off.”
With an eye on the finish, Wiggle HIGH5 worked to bring the group back, reuniting the field with three laps to go and setting up a thrilling finish on Regent Street St James, with D’hoore heading home Barnes and Majerus.
“Every time it’s a bunch sprint there’s pressure on me. I had to deal with it; I think I can handle the expectation pretty well. We also had Giorgia Bronzini there for us; at the end of the stage she said the team were going for me. It’s great to win,” said Jolien D’hoore afterwards.
“The hammer went down from the start. We weren’t there in the move as a team so we had to chase it down. The girls did a lot of work, everybody was on their limit. Luckily we closed it down and it was up to me in the sprint.”
Audrey Cordon-Ragot won the SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb while Team Sunweb took the Team Classification, with their rider Lucinda Brand claiming the week’s combativity prize.
Earlier in the day the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had joined Breast Cancer Care ambassador Denise Lewis to wave away the Pink Ribbon Tour, which saw over 800-women riding 25-kilometres to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Breast Cancer Care’s pink ribbon.
Highlights of the final stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in London are on ITV4 at 23:00 on Sunday 11 June, with a repeat the following morning on the same channel. The highlights will also be available on demand via the ITV Hub catch-up service.