WomensTour – Sharon Laws & Hannah Barnes


VeloUK talks to QoM Sharon Laws and best young rider Hannah Barnes after stage 1 of the Friends Life Women’s Tour

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WomensTour – Sharon Laws & Hannah Barnes

Two riders who impressed on stage 1 of the Friends Life Women’s Tour were Sharon Laws and Hannah Barnes.

Former British RR champion Laws only arrived on Tuesday from the States but was sprinting up the hills in the Strava QoM competition after the points to get a jersey. For Barnes though, 21 last Sunday, and third on the stage in her home town, the result was confirmation she is indeed in her rightful place in a pro team racing against the best in the World.

After arriving back at the hotel, I found both Laws and Barnes at the team bus and that was an opportunity too good to miss.

Hannah Barnes – third “I can’t believe it. It was pretty nice crossing that line! I wasn’t expecting that at all. Coming into a race with the best riders in the world, so to get third I was pretty happy. I said I wanted to get a podium and I got two!”


“I found the racing pretty safe. When you’re in a bunch of a 100, it can be dodgy but it was really good fun and it was great to be in Britain with that many people watching it and made me pretty proud.”

“At 10k to go, I made sure I was always up there. It was hectic but it always is for a sprint. I was in position, out of position, in position. The sprint opened up early with Lizzie going at 500 to go. I was twitching wanting to go so much but when it started, it was then a drag race between everyone. I knew it wasn’t a flat finish so that helped and quite an advantage.”

“In the team meeting this morning, we were told to go out and have fun. No team tactics, we just said it’s a big race and I was very nervous and a bit on edge and Racheal wanted to calm me down more than anything. I am going to into the following stages to enjoy it and see what happens.”

“I was going into the race not having a clue where I was going to finish. I was looking at the spring classic results and thinking where would have I come because Dutch racing is very different to American and British racing. So I was pretty chuffed to be in the mix. I am not very good at my positioning, so to have been there to contest it made me happy.”

“It was a nice confidence boost and I’ll take that into the next four days. I now have the pressure of wearing a jersey and I didn’t expect that. I am just going to go into each stage now and take it as it comes. !”


Sharon Laws – “It was good to have something to go for today. Obviously I am not going to be one of the sprinters at the end so it was nice to have an intermediate target.” Asked if she was surprised when Marianne Vos got involved in the QoM second sprint, Sharon replied “yes, I wasn’t expecting Marianne to get involved.”

Asked about her memories of the day, Sharon replied “It was fantastic. I actually think it was above my expectations. I knew it was going to be big but not expecting it to be that big. Compared to all our other races, the organisation was fantastic. Just to have that many people out supporting us and all of the schools enroute, it was really incredible.”


Asked if she would love to see this as an annual event, Sharon replied “definitely. All the riders are very motivated and the lead up to it has been very positive with lots of media, it is fantastic for women’s cycling.”

Asked about the race on stage 1, Sharon said, “It was fast. Coming from America where the roads are a lot wider and much smaller bunches, I’d forgotten how much you have to fight the whole time. It was really exciting though and the roads were narrow which was the challenge.”

Asked why we saw her and riders like Lizzie Armitstead at the front constantly; whether that was to avoid crashes, Sharon replied “yes, because the roads are so narrow, if you get too far back it is quite challenging. It is easier to be near the front. Obviously not on the front the whole time but the closer you can stay to the front, the better.”



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