In the exciting 1st stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour, 140k from Atherstone to Stratford-Upon-Avon, Cylance Pro Cycling’s Alison Tetrick broke away in the last 20k, and it looked like a win was on the horizon. After a crash Tetrick sustained in the early part of the race, the breakaway itself was a tremendous attack. With just 10k to go, time trial specialist Tetrick build a two minute lead on the peloton. Yet with the finish line in sight–and just 10 meters to go!–Tetrick was hunted down in a determined chase and outsprinted at the last moment. Christine Majeurs (Boels-Dolmans) and Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) packed a one-two punch for the podium and took five other riders with them to the line, as Tetrick finished her valiant effort in 8th place. While she may not have claimed the podium, Tetrick was easily the Fan Favorite of the day. Her exciting tactics and determination were well documented by the media and appreciated by the crowds, as she demonstrated the power of women’s pro cycling. “The Aviva Women’s Tour did not disappoint in challenging courses and aggressive racing,” says Tetrick, who would have to wait till stage 5 to understand the depths of her physical state after the crash and the breakaway.
The second day of the Tour traveled 132k from Southwold – Norwich and, as Tetrick recovered in the peloton from yesterday’s enormous effort, Rossella Ratto of Cylance Pro Cycling finished in chase group just 1:42 seconds off the winning break. The weather was an abysmal downpour, which brought out the character and grit of world class racers, who fought through the conditions. Amy Pieters (Wiggle-High5) , Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-SRAM) and Marianne Vos (RAbo-Liv) topped the podium.
Day three took the peloton 112k from Ashbourne – Chesterfield and the rain held off for another three-hour day of world-class racing. Cylance Pro Cycling’s youngest rider Sheyla Gutierrez finished the day in the top 25, less than thirty seconds from the win. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) , Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo Bigla) and Elisa Longo-Borghini (Wiggle High5) claimed the victories.
In a spirited day of breakaways and attacks for 119k from Nottingham – Stoke-on-Trent, Marianne Vos, Leah Kirchmann (Liv- Plantur) and Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) would score the podium but Cylance Pro Cycling’s Valentina Scandolara showed her strength sticking with the chase group. After four days in the stage race and one month of back-to-back events with multiple podiums, Scandolara and her teammates proved this inaugural World Tour team shows nothing but strength and potential.
On the final day of Aviva’s Women’s Tour, 113k from Northampton – Kettering, a seven rider break stayed away, securing the podium for Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo Bigla), Marta Bastianelli (Ale Cipollini) and Elena Cecchini (Canyon SRAM). Cylance Pro Cycling’s Sheyla Gutierrez showed her fierce power once again, finishing 13th, just 11 seconds off the win. At the end of stage 5, Tetrick found out that the crash she sustained in stage 1 left her with cracked three ribs and injured her shoulder.
“I had crashed earlier in Stage 1 and was in quite a bit of pain but was determined to continue racing to help the team and to create more opportunities for another chance to win, “ said Alison Tetrick. “Unfortunately, the injuries were confirmed by the 5th day as three broken ribs and an injured shoulder. It had been 5 painfully fought days that I am proud of and also humbled by the amount of encouragement and positivity that I was able to soak up on the roads of England.”
The teamwork at Aviva Women’s Tour also left a great impression. “Each day the team was determined to perform at our best level, and to represent Cylance and our sponsors on the world’s biggest stage,” said Tetrick. “I am thankful to the team and the organization for providing such a large platform through media, television, and the fans for us to perform on at the Aviva Women’s Tour. I don’t know what was more painful, launching a bold attack at 25k to go and so closely losing the victory, or watching the replay on TV that evening. This race won’t be one that I will soon forget!”