Last season’s Women’s Tour was a breakthrough race for the young Hannah Barnes with a victory on the final stage, a top-five finish and the youth classification. Things are a little different this time out as she plays the team role for her new Canyon-SRAM squad while she continues her recovery from a broken ankle over the winter.
“I wasn’t coming into this race with any ambitions. I just wanted to help the team. I’ve just been doing that and trying to do what I can,” a dirt-spattered Barnes told Cyclingnews after a tough, rain-soaked stage 2 of the Women’s Tour.
Barnes was one of the riders that missed the cut when the peloton split into several groups ahead of the final climb of the day. The British rider came across the finish line 1:42 behind the winner Amy Pieters (Wiggle-High5). Despite this, she was still able to play a part in the team performance and use her knowledge of the latter stages to guide them to the finish.
“The profile was pretty tough, and I’d ridden the second half before so I knew what it was like so I could talk on the radio and let everyone know what was coming up. It was good,” Barnes explained. “I think everyone knew that these next three days are going to be really hard so everybody wanted to stay there… These next few days are definitely GC days.”
Barnes’ teammate, and last year’s champion, Lisa Brennauer, missed out by half a wheel in the sprint to the line but thanks to the bonus seconds that she earned for her second place she climbed the standings. Brennauer is now fourth overall, just 11 seconds down on the race leader Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv).
Barnes joined the Canyon-SRAM set-up that came from the ashes of the Velocio-SRAM squad over the winter, following two years with UnitedHealthcare. Before her contract with the team was announced, Barnes suffered a serious crash in August of last year that left her with a broken ankle and forced her to miss the World Championships.
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