Feature: Drops Cycling at the Women’s Tour


VeloUK is spending a couple of days with the Drops Cycling women’s team at the Women’s Tour – Here’s the first of the two features

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Feature: Drops Cycling at the Women’s Tour

Today, stage 2 of the Women’s Tour, was a hilly stage in my old county of Warwickshire with long climbs, steep climbs and wet roads to contend with. The race, packed with WorldTour women’s teams, also has a development team of GB Academy riders and a UCI British team, the only UK based one in the race.


Of their riders, Alice Barnes, team leader, was best placed in 31st but it could have been so much better as she lost time when in the lead group after some one’s rear mech got tangled in her wheel. That dropped her back to the second group where a long established domestic rider, Laura Massey, was showing she had the measure of the world tour standard.

All six riders finished in the top 60. I’m sure we’ll have lots of stories to tell when we catch up with them before stage 3. One of them was about third cat (yes, the British Cycling category system at its best!) Sophie Coleman had a mechanical and not only got back on to the peloton (third group) but then lined them out! This is a field of World Tour riders remember.


Post stage, the riders changed into dry clothes and got going back to their base for the race to prepare for the next day. Below are some videos we did pre-stage and one we did post stage with Alice Barnes.

Team boss Bob Varney spoke to Gordon Wiseman before and after the race

Before: “Yesterday was really good. Our plan was to get all six riders safely round without losing time on the GC so to get Trixie’ – Rebecca Durrell – ‘up there in 25th just 13s behind the winner and the rest of the girls about 25s behind the main body of the peloton was really good.

“There was a very fast run-in to the finish yesterday, super-fast, and there was a crash about 1500m to go and that scuppered Alice’s chances but, hey, these things happen. The main things was, for stage 1, we got everyone round and without losing too much energy.

“We had a couple of riders who were sitting towards the back of the bunch and we’re trying to get them to move up nearer the front, but we’re got the best riders in the world here so it really isn’t easy as the level of competition is so good. And, of course, all teams are trying to do the same thing.

“Today is going to be a very different day, it’s going to be super hard. I think the race will break apart and I think there’ll be a few groups coming into the finish. We want to have Alice and Laura Massey, hopefully, as near to the front as possible and if we do, then I’ll be more than happy with that”.

Post stage: “We wanted two as near to the front as possible and then the other four safely in the peloton and that would have made a perfect day. Alice and Laura were together, not in the very front group but we’re still in a good position overall as a team and we’re more than happy with that.

“Sophie’ – Coleman – ‘had a mechanical in the last 20kms or so and so some of the girls had to help her get back on and so she was a bit pooped from that but when we saw her again she was in the third group and really pushing it. She may have started the year as a 3rd cat – and a good swimmer as well which would have helped today! – but she’s really learning well, we think she’s a strong as an ox”.

You can also see pictures of the riders, sponsored by Prendas with some striking clothing, here on VeloUK’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Veloshooter

Stage 2 Results for the team

31 *BARNES Alice
32 MASSEY Laura
44 GEORGE Jennifer
46 DURRELL Rebeca
47 COLEMAN Sophie
60 *PAYTON Hannah

Interview – Video chat post stage with Alice Barnes

Interview – Video chat pre stage with Alice Barnes

Interview – Video chat pre stage with Rebecca Durrell

Interview – Video chat pre stage with Jennifer George

Girls warming up before stage 2






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