Clara Copponi wins Women’s Tour opener in Bury St Edmunds

Clara Copponi wins Women’s Tour opener in Bury St Edmunds

Frenchwoman Clara Copponi claimed the first victory of her road racing career as she sprinted to win the opening stage of the Women’s Tour in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on Monday.

The FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope rider pipped Italian duo Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ) and Elena Cecchini (Team SD Worx) to the line in a reduced bunch sprint after a final-kilometre crash removed pre-stage favourite Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) from contention.

Copponi, a reigning world champion on the track, claimed the first yellow leader’s jersey of this year’s race as a result of her victory. Having finished third overall in last year’s Women’s Tour, she also leads the Breast Cancer Now points classification going into stage two.

“Today I feel good, confident. I am excited for the rest of the week. I love England!” said Copponi afterwards, saying to defending her lead in stage two she would need to “Win the sprint, again, I will do my best and we will see day by day

“I did my best and I’m so happy. I’m so excited, it’s a great day, it’s my first victory.”