Lisa Brennauer wins Stage 4 of the Aviva Women’s Tour as hundreds turn out to watch Stevenage finish
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of people braved the wet weather to watch Stage 4 of the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour finish in Stevenage today, with Lisa Brennauer taking the victory and overall lead.
The German just pipped Swede Emma Johnasson as the pair crossed the line at about 12.50pm in the High Street – which was packed on both sides.
Elisa Longo Borghini and Sabrina Stultiens had broken away and led through Walkern and into Stevenage, but both riders had to settle for top 10 finishes after being caught with less than 1km to go.
Lotta Lepesto claimed third, former leader Christine Majerus took fourth, and Great Britain’s Hannah Barnes was delighted with fifth – where she now features in the overall standings.
The 103.8km route started in Waltham Cross at 10am and went through North and East Herts, including Royston, Sandon, Rushden and Cromer.
Brennauer now leads the tour by nine seconds from Majerus, and was presented with both the yellow and winner’s jersey – designed by Almond Hill Primary School pupil Theo Thompson.
The 11-year-old was cheered on by school friends during the presentation, including fellow Year 6 pupil Jamie Williams.
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He told the Comet: “We’re really proud of Theo. He loves sport and to be able to play a big part has been really good for him.”
Ellie Maclean, also 11, added: “It’s been really exciting watching and we’re just all very proud of him.”
Parent Claire Pullen, whose daughter Catherine Haddleton also goes to school with Theo, said it was a great event for the town.
“It’s been a good day and very well organised,” said Claire, who lives a short walk away from the finish in Walkern Road.
“It’s been exciting to see a big event come to Stevenage and see so many people in the Old Town – it’s been fantastic for the town.”
Paula Mcaree, who lives in Great Ashby and came with her two sons, Adam, 12, and eight-year-old Ben, enjoyed the race despite the weather.
“It’s great to promote cycling given we have all these cycle paths, and I think more people will start to cycle now.
“The weather has been very British which is typical, but it’s been great nonetheless.”
Earlier the female cycling field had made its way through the North Herts village of Barkway, where points for the first sprint section were decided – Audrey Cordon came through in first, Elise Delzenne was second and Malgorzata Jasinska bagged third.
The second sprint section was in Royston, where overall leader Brennauer showed her class to take the top points, with Jolien D’Hoore in second and Emma Johansson coming third.
The riders then climbed Therfield Heath – the highest point of the course – for Queen of the Mountains points, with Elise Delzenne coming out on top.
She was followed by Melissa Hoskins, who now holds the QoM polka dot jersey, and Longo Borghini.
You can watch the action again tonight, with highlights on ITV4 from 8pm.
Brennauer has a nine second lead to take into the final stage of the tour, which concludes tomorrow when riders head from Marlow to Hemel Hempstead.