Lotte Kopecky clinches victory at opening stage of Tour of Britain Women in Llandudno

World champion Lotte Kopecky emerged victorious in the opening stage of the 2024 Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women, narrowly defeating Letizia Paternoster by the smallest of margins in a thrilling sprint finish in Llandudno.

Kopecky showcased her power, completing the 142.4km route from Welshpool to Llandudno, which included 2,276m of climbing. The race began with Josie Talbot making the first significant move, followed by an attack from Christine Majerus closing the gap.

As the race approached the first Queen of the Mountains climb, the 5.3% average gradient Llangynog, Connie Hayes initiated a pace increase. Elena Cecchini marked the move, but it was Heidi Franz who ultimately secured the maximum points on the 6.1km climb.

With 70km to go, a strong group including Katia Ragusa, Millie Couzens, Amber Pate, Valeria Demey, Barbara Guarischi, and Franziska Koch managed to establish a gap from the peloton but ultimately that too was pulled back by the peloton.

National Road Series leader Lucy Harris made a significant solo effort, earning the Combativity Award before being caught by Elinor Barker’s push on the second Queen of the Mountains, Ty’n y Llidiart. Pfeiffer Georgi launched an attack approaching the summit, but was chased down by the Great Britain Cycling Team, with Lizzie Deignan taking the Queen of the Mountain title ahead of her teammate Anna Henderson. That attack saw an elite group form at the front.

The leading group, including Deignan, Paternoster, Georgi, Kopecky, Majerus, Victore Guilman, Ruby Roseman-Gannon, and Eline Jansen, held a lead of one minute and 14 seconds. In the intermediate sprint, Paternoster outsprinted Kopecky for the bonus seconds.

As they entered Llandudno’s promenade, a tight sprint ensued, with Kopecky ultimately winning by a narrow margin in a photo finish ahead of Paternoster, with Georgi third and Deignan fourth.

Reflecting on her victory, Kopecky said: “I’m not sure if I won and it took quite a while before we found out that I won, so it was a nice final finish. At moments it felt pretty slow because of the wind, however, I’m happy that I could get a break in the final climb.”

Deignan commented on her performance: “I was happy with my form today. It was a strange race, almost nothing and everything. We would have liked moments of attack in the final finish, but with the headwinds stretch and the launchpads, we just had to do what we could. I think moving forward it will be a really open race, so hopefully a big breakaway could go, and we can use some of our other ideas and take other opportunities.”

Kopecky’s triumph places her at the top of the general classification and the sprinter’s jersey, while her team DS Worx-ProTime leads the team classification. Georgi’s podium finish earned her the Best of British jersey, and Deignan’s climbing efforts secured the Queen of the Mountains title. Eline Jansen finished fifth, securing the young rider’s jersey.

2024 Tour of Britain Women Stage 1 result

Results powered by

All photo credits: