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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Women’s Tour of Britain: Copponi wins first stage after delay and late crash | Women’s Tour

France’s Clara Copponi won stage one of the 2022 Women’s Tour in Bury St Edmunds after a dramatic late crash, with Britain’s Alice Barnes coming home fifth.

Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) capitalised on the incident with 300 metres remaining, which took out several riders including Lorena Wiebes and Coryn Labecki.

The crash occurred on the penultimate turn and Copponi emerged at the front of the sprint and held off the Italian trio Sofia Bertizzolo, Elena Cecchini and Arianna Fidanza.

Clara Copponi celebrates after crossing the line first in Bury St Edmunds.
Clara Copponi celebrates after crossing the line first in Bury St Edmunds. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

The 141.9km opening stage, which began on wet roads in Colchester, had been paused and restarted with 35km still to race due to a road accident involving a police motorcyclist and another vehicle in front of the peloton.

Britain’s Danielle Shrosbree (CAMS-Basso Bikes), who led by one minute and 10 seconds when the race was stopped, was caught by the peloton 15km from the finish.

In the final 500 metres, Wiebes (Team DSM) appeared to be in prime position, but teammate Charlotte Kool slid out on a narrow turn and took out Wiebes, Labecki, and Barbara Guarischi (Movistar Team) with her.

Copponi took full advantage, emerging on the wheel of Bertizzolo at the final corner and sprinting past 100m from the line. The 91.8km-long stage two starts and finishes in Harlow on Tuesday.

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