Thomas wins Tour de Feminin overall
CZECH REPUBLIC – You couldn’t have asked for a better week of racing. During the five tour stages at Tour de Feminin, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling showed a remarkable display of teamwork, topped off with Leah Thomas claiming the yellow jersey on the final day and the biggest result of her career.
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling undefeated in stage races this season
Climber Katie Hall sealed her lead in the Queen of the Mountains standings and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling was awarded first in the team classification.
“We had a really solid race as a team this week,” team director Rachel Hedderman said. “There were lots of firsts for many of us on the team. Lizzy Banks getting her first UCI podium and Lauretta Hanson winning her first UCI race and yellow jersey, amongst many others. Lauretta held the yellow jersey after her stellar stage 3 time trial where we placed 1st through 4th. We defended that yellow in the afternoon stage.
“One of the beauties of this team is that we share successes and joys together,” Hedderman went on to say. “We are excited to keep the jersey within the team, and we continue to show our strength and willingness to support one another.”
The final stage was 90km with one big loop over rolling roads featuring two categorized climbs and intermediate time bonus sprints, followed by three small laps around Krasna Lipa with a climb coming just three km from the finish.
Hanson, who started the day in yellow, and Thomas both took bonus seconds in the intermediate sprints. Then on the second climb of the day, a group of six riders, including Thomas went clear.
“As Leah was best placed on GC, we were happy to let the group go,” Hedderman said. “With no organized chase from behind, the break quickly got a minute and then two, and by the finish, the gap was four minutes.”
With 15km to go, Sophie de Vuyst (Doltcini) attacked the break. Thomas stayed back, marking the other riders who were more dangerous for the GC, de Vuyst went clear. On the final climb, Thomas attacked the remainder of the break, and took second place, sealing the overall race victory.
Back in the field, Hanson, Hall and Rushlee Buchanan all finished in the top 20, securing top 10 placings overall.
“This week at Tour de Feminin was a great start to our European trip for the team, with the team working really well together to secure the overall victory,” Hedderman said. “We’re excited to show that we can compete in the European peloton and are looking forward to La Course.”