ELISE MISSES GC WIN BY JUST ONE SECOND
Elise Chabbey finished second on the general classification after the final stage of Tour de Suisse Women today in Frauenfeld, Switzerland. The race came down to the bonus seconds on offer at the intermediate sprints. After Elise out-sprinted Lizzie Deignan (TFS) to win yesterday’s first stage, the British rider turned the tables today on the Swiss national champion to win the overall by one second.
Teammate Mikayla Harvey won the youth classification and Hannah Barnes sprinted to third on the stage making it a hugely successful tour for the team overall.
“For the moment right now, of course I feel disappointed. I had the GC yesterday and today I lost it by just one second. The team tried to avoid that Lizzie could take the bonus seconds. Unfortunately I had a crash and I wasn’t feeling that great after it either,” explained Elise who crashed just prior to the first of three intermediate sprints.
“If someone told me before the tour that I would come here and finish second on GC then I would have taken it. But when you have the lead and then lose it, it’s the first reaction to be disappointed. Later, I will remember the sprint win yesterday and take the confidence from that,” added Elise.
The second time being in the leader’s jersey in recent weeks, Elise said she could feel the extra pressure.
“I could feel it today. Everyone was around me and watching me. Usually I can move in the bunch and it’s quite easy, but today it wasn’t like that and I found it super hard to move around. It’s an experience to take in, and to learn from.”
Mikayla Harvey wins youth classification
Teammate Mikayla Harvey secured the win in the youth classification by 3 minutes 45 seconds from her nearest competitor.
“I’m really happy with this. I had such a good day out yesterday so it’s really rewarding to come away with the young rider jersey,” said Mikayla.
“That said, I’m disappointed with today’s stage as we had huge ambitions to keep Elise in the leader jersey. It was tough for me; I’m not very confident with the criterium-style racing that we had. There’s always things to improve on. I’m looking forward now to a block of training at altitude and then the Giro Rosa in July.”
Hannah Barnes sprints to third on the final stage
For Hannah Barnes it was a welcome return to a top three result after sprinting from a breakaway of nine riders.
“We ideally wanted a breakaway to go away in the early stages to take some pressure off the sprints for bonus seconds,” explained Hannah.
“Unfortunately Elise crashed leading into the first sprint and was sore after that. I led Alexis (Ryan) out for the second one which she won. I attacked before the third sprint to see if I could take the seconds and let us then focus on the final for Elise.”
“Unfortunately my radio wasn’t working in my breakaway so I had very limited communication with the car and the team. I wasn’t expecting it to stick. It was a difficult situation and I take full responsibility for not reading the race better,” conceded Hannah.
“About my sprint, I am a little disappointed. I have beaten (Marta) Bastianelli before so should have been able to today. It was an intense stage and we rode well together. It’s a shame Elise crashed so early on but it is a huge achievement for her to take away second in her home tour.”