Friends Life Women's Tour Stage Two Report


Italian Rossella Ratto outsprinted compatriot Susanna Zorzi  on Bedford's Embankment to win the second stage of the Friends Life Women's Tour, jumping into the lead of the race following her victory.


Italian Rossella Ratto outsprinted breakaway companion and compatriot Susanna Zorzi  to win the second stage


The Italian duo out foxed the sprinters into Bedford, holding off the Marianne Vos led bunch by six seconds to remain clear after Ratto had broken clear after 65-kilometres of racing.


Having instigated the move heading towards the second Strava Queen of the Mountains at Brixworth, Ratto was later joined by Zorzi, building a gap of two minutes approaching 20-kilometres to go.


With Lizzie Armitstead's Boels Dolmans taking up the chase the deficit was halved, but Ratto and Zorzi remained clear, although only just with the peloton in sight behind the duo on the 400-metre long finishing straight.


Having outsprinted Zorzi, Estado de Mexico Faren rider Ratto said afterwards;


"I originally attacked to get the points for the Queen of the Mountains but I continued because I felt good - I am training for the time-trial at present - so I thought why not? I was on the point of giving up when Susanna came across to me from the peloton. Two is always better than one so we started to ride hard again. The gap started going up and we thought maybe we could do it.


"I was still afraid the peloton would get back to us in the final 4km but Suzanna, who is a good friend, helped me a lot and we were able to ride all the way to the finish it was a dream.”


Marianne Vos and Lizzie Armitstead sprint for a time bonuses mid race


Behind the Italians Vos led home compatriot Amy Pieters and Lucy Garner, followed by Giorgia Bronzini and Lizzie Armitstead.


"We almost caught Rossella but not quite,” said Armitstead afterwards. "From our point of view it was really our team's responsibility to lead the chase, we didn't have the yellow jersey to defend and possibly GreenEdge made a slight mistake.


"In terms of the GC we are still in the hunt if the stages are challenging enough but realistically we need some wins to make it more interesting. I've been going for all the intermediate sprints so far, I have been in stage races before when it comes down to second so if it does get close on Sunday I don't want to look back on any lost opportunity.”


Armitstead moves up to fifth overall and pulls on the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Best British Rider jersey, while Ratto added the Matrix Fitness Best Young Rider jersey to her Bedfordshire haul.


Lizzie Armitstead moves up to fifth overall and pulls on the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Best British Rider jersey


In the Friends Life Overall Classification Ratto now leads Zorzi by five seconds, with Vos, who leads the YodelDirect Points Classification a further second in arrears.  Day One winner Emma Johansson drops to fourth overall, having come home eleventh, with Hannah Barnes and Lucy Garner joining Armitstead as Brits in the top ten.


UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling's Sharon Laws retains the Strava Queen of the Mountains jersey after enjoying a competitive battle with Switzerland's mountain bike champion Jolanda Neff, that saw the two competing for the points available at each of the day's two Strava climbs.


Friday sees the Friends Life Women's Tour head to Suffolk and Tendring, for Stage Three from Felixstowe to Clacton.  Highlights of Stage Two are on ITV4 in the UK at 9pm this evening, with a repeat on Friday morning at 8am



1 Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren 03:02:02
2 Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana Bepink womens team  
3 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team 00:00:06
4 Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands  
5 Lucy Garner (GBr) Great Britain  
6 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda  
7 Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans cycling team  
8 Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Lointek  
9 Aude Biannic (Fra) Lointek  
10 Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec products  
11 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica AIS  
12 Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren  
13 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized Lululemon  
14 Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec products  
15 Jolanda Neff (Swi) Switzerland  
16 Katie Archibald (GBr) Great Britain  
17 Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (RSA) Hitec products  
18 Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans cycling team  
19 Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Specialized Lululemon  
20 Ramona Forchini (Swi) Switzerland  
21 Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle Honda  
22 Hannah Barnes (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
23 Anouska Koster (Ned) Netherlands  
24 Peta Mullens (Aus) Wiggle Honda  
25 Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
26 Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized Lululemon  
27 Liesbet De Vocht (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
28 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team  
29 Lucia Gonzalez (Spa) Lointek  
30 Mascha Pijnenborg (Ned) Netherlands  
31 Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica AIS  
32 Dani King (GBr) Wiggle Honda  
33 Alice Arzuffi (Ita) Astana Bepink womens team  
34 Denise Ramsden (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
35 Melissa Lowther (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine  
36 Linda Indergand (Swi) Switzerland  
37 Lauren Hall (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
38 Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans cycling team  
39 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica AIS  
40 Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team  
41 Melon Pawlowska (Pol) Boels Dolmans cycling team  
42 Laura Trott (GBr) Wiggle Honda  
43 Sharon Laws (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
44 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized Lululemon  
45 Belen Lopez (Spa) Lointek  
46 Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Astana Bepink womens team  
47 Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team  
48 Jessie Daams (Bel) Boels Dolmans cycling team  
49 Janel Holcomb (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
50 Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica AIS  
51 Dalia Muccioli (Ita) Astana Bepink womens team  
52 Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabo Liv women cycling team  
53 Jutta Stienen (Swi) Switzerland  
54 Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
55 Ciara Horne (GBr) Great Britain  
56 Katharine Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 00:00:21
57 Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle Honda 00:00:31
58 Helen Wyman (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 00:00:36
59 Chantal Blaak (Ned) Specialized Lululemon 00:00:39
60 Lucy Martin (GBr) Estado de Mexico Faren  
61 Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
62 Hayley Jones (GBr) Great Britain  
63 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren 00:00:41
64 Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Orica AIS  
65 Katrin Leumann (Swi) Switzerland 00:00:42
66 Jo Tindley (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 00:00:46
67 Chantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Belisol Ladies 00:00:48
68 Jessie Walker (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 00:01:01
69 Amy Hill (GBr) Great Britain 00:01:11
70 Henriette Woering (Ned) Netherlands  
71 Doris Schweizer (Swi) Astana Bepink womens team 00:01:13
72 Emma Pooley (GBr) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
73 Penny Rowson (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 00:01:33
74 Caroline Baur (Swi) Switzerland  
75 Uenia Fernandes Souza (Bra) Estado de Mexico Faren  
76 Fanny Riberot (Fra) Lointek  
77 Anna Knauer (Ger) Rabo Liv women cycling team  
78 Sheyla Gutierrez (Spa) Lointek  
79 Annette Edmondson (Aus) Orica AIS 00:01:36
80 Emma Trott (GBr) Boels Dolmans cycling team  
81 Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec products  
82 Janine Van De Meer (Ned) Netherlands 00:00:06
83 Cari Higgins (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 00:02:52
84 Erika Leticia Yepez Fernandez (Mex) Estado de Mexico Faren  
85 Lauren Tamayo (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 00:03:33
86 Emily Kay (GBr) Great Britain 00:10:37
87 Harriet Owen (GBr) Matrix Fitness - Vulpine 00:13:21
88 Isabelle Beckers (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies 00:14:43
DNF Karol Ann Canuel (Can) Specialized Lululemon  
DNF Amy Cure (Aus) Lotto Belisol Ladies  



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