French woman wins opening stage of Women’s Tour which finished in Bury St Edmunds

Clara Copponi wins the opening stage of the Women’s Tour.

Frenchwoman Clara Copponi claimed the first victory of her road racing career as she sprinted to win the opening stage of the Women’s Tour, which finished in Bury St Edmunds, yesterday, Monday, June 6.

The FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope rider pipped Italian duo Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ) and Elena Cecchini (Team SD Worx) to the line in a reduced bunch sprint after a final-kilometre crash removed pre-stage favourite Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) from contention.

Copponi, a reigning world champion on the track, claimed the first yellow leader’s jersey of this year’s race as a result of her victory. Having finished third overall in last year’s Women’s Tour, she also leads the Breast Cancer Now points classification going into stage two.

“Today I feel good, confident. I am excited for the rest of the week. I love England!” said Copponi afterwards, saying to defending her lead in stage two she would need to “Win the sprint, again, I will do my best and we will see day by day.

“I did my best and I’m so happy. I’m so excited, it’s a great day, it’s my first victory.”

Finishing fourth was Canyon//SRAM Racing rider Alice Barnes, who takes the honour of Best British Rider, an award she won overall in 2021, after the opening day.

“My team mates tried to help me and we had aimed to be patient,” said Barnes. “But I was blocked to get to them, so I made the choice to go alone in the final. I was able to find my way close to the front before the roundabout but I have to admit we’d already been slipping a lot all day on the wet roads and that didn’t give me a lot of confidence. The riders ahead of me took the left-hand corner too hot and crashed. I was able to find my way through and did my best in the final 100m.”

Christine Majerus (Team SDWorx) leads the ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains category having won both the contests in Suffolk at Brantham and Bildeston, while British team Le Col – Wahoo take the Pillar Sprints jersey with Maike van der Duin, who won both intermediate contests during the stage.

For full results and standings, powered by Brother UK, go to The Women’s Tour | Results (



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