After a fraught start to the 2022 Women’s Tour on Monday, stage two delivered a less dramatic affair and culminated in a predictable win.
Another solo breakaway from British team CAMS-Basso came with 47 km to go, this time Sammie Stuart took the lead and luckily did not suffer the same disruption as her teammate had on the previous stage.
Maike van der Duin of Le Col Wahoo attacked the sprint at Great Dunmow taking three bonus seconds in the hope of moving up on the general classification. At the second sprint point, at High Easter, race leader Copponi took the maximum point available to the peloton with Van der Duin close behind.
The peloton began to hack away at Stuart’s lead in the closing kilometres of the race, with Team DSM and Trek-Segafredo, in particular, looking to rectify missing out on the previous day’s sprint after a crash in the run-in.
Stuart was caught with 21 km to go and Lily Williams (Human Powered Health) and Gladys Verhulst (Le Col-Wahoo) countered. Verhulst collected the QOM points on Toot Hill and Stonards Hill moving herself into second in the classification behind Christine Majerus (SD Worx).
A sizeable crash in the peloton behind, which did not appear to leave any serious injuries, gave Williams and Verhulst’s inevitably doomed move something of a lifeline but as soon as the peloton collected themselves, putting Ellen van Dijk of Trek-Segafredo on the front, the pair were brought back with 2 km to go.
Once the leaders were caught it was down to the lead-out trains to collect themselves for their respective sprinters. Team DSM were organised for pre-stage favourite Lorena Wiebes and Movistar were also working for Barbara Guarischi but once Wiebes launched her sprint there was no passing the Dutch rider who crossed the line with bike lengths to spare ahead of Guarischi and Shari Bossuyt of Canyon//SRAM.
Clara Copponi retains the race lead, three seconds ahead of Maike van der Duin and four seconds ahead of Wiebes going into a much-hillier stage three.
Women's Tour (2.WWT) Harlow → Harlow
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope