Women’s Tour of Britain: Wiebes claims double as Simmonds solo bid falls short

Lorena Wiebes claimed a historic double at the Women’s Tour of Britain with her second consecutive stage win, while Demi Vollering stayed on course for overall victory with one stage to go.

Wiebes, of Team DSM, overpowered the world road race champion, Elisa Balsamo (Valcar-Travel & Service), to finish first in Clacton-on-Sea, with Maria van’t Geloof (Drops-Le Col) coming third. Wiebes is the first rider to win back-to-back stages on the Women’s Tour of Britain since Marianne Vos in 2014.

Another Dutch rider, Vollering (SD-Worx), will go into the final stage with an overall lead of more than a minute, but may have endured some nervous moments on Friday after an audacious solo breakaway effort from the British rider Hayley Simmonds.

Simmonds (Cams-Basso Bikes) spent much of the day in the virtual leader’s blue jersey after opening up a lead of more than four minutes over the peloton, but was put under pressure by a chasing group before being reeled in by the pack with 15km to go.

Vollering leads Juliette Labous (Team-DSM) by 1min 9sec, with Clara Copponi (FDJ-Nouvelle-Aquitaine) a further 7sec back. Vollering’s teammate Amy Pieters is in fourth with Joss Lowden the best-placed British rider in seventh. Simmonds is in 19th overall.

Saturday’s final stage is a 155.3km route from Haverhill to Felixstowe, with two categorised climbs offering the last chance for the chasing pack to put Vollering under pressure.