Elisa Longo Borghini won a hilltop finish on Black Mountain to win stage five of the Women’s Tour in Carmarthenshire and set up a grandstand finale for the overall title in Oxford on Saturday.
The Italian, riding for Trek-Segafredo, held off the challenge of Australia’s Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), who retained her overall lead. Brown picked up vital bonus seconds by finishing third, behind her fellow contender Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon/SRAM).
After the top three’s podium finish on Friday, there is nothing to separate Brown and Longo Borghini at the top of the leaderboard, while Poland’s Niewiadoma is just two seconds behind in third place. Saturday’s final stage starts in Chipping Norton and finishes in Oxford city centre, with a total of 16 bonus seconds available.
On Friday’s 106.6-km stage, which began at Pembrey country park, the early leader, Joss Lowden, was caught by 11 chasers after 43km, with the peloton, led by Brown’s FDJ teammates, just over a minute behind.
The leading group, which also included Shari Bossuyt, Christine Majerus, Krista Doebel-Hickok, Mikayla Harvey and Ellen van Dijk, extended the gap to one minute and 20 seconds with 50km to go. But the breakaway group with 23km remaining as the pack approached the foot of Black Mountain.
Van Dijk set the pace up the long climb to the summit to stretch out the peloton, with all the contenders still in the group with three kilometres remaining. Longo Borghini emerged strongest in the final push for the finish, with general classification rivals Brown and […]