Niewiadoma returns to defend title at OVO Energy Women’s Tour

Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) will return to the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, the 13th round of the Women’s WorldTour, set to take place from June 13-17 in Great Britain. The Polish rider will focus on the climbing stages while sprinters, sisters, Hannah and Alice Barnes will aim for wins during the sprint-friendly stages.

Last year, Niewiadoma won the overall title ahead of Christine Majerus and Hannah Barnes. She won the opening stage from a long-range breakaway and held the race lead through to London to secure the title. She is currently fifth in the Women’s WorldTour standings but was not initially scheduled to compete in this year’s race. A change of plans was welcomed, however, as she will use the five-day race to prepare for the Giro Rosa in July.

This year’s parcours is hiller than in previous years. The event includes several climbs that could shake out the overall classification. Stage 2 features climbs over Weedon Hill and Newnham Hill, stage 3 climbs over Edge Hill and Burton Dassett, stage 4 over Snowshill and stage 5 over Nant Gwynant.

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“I saw the stage profiles and I can say that they are going to hurt,” Niewiadoma said. “It’s a demanding and unpredictable race and I love this. I have decided to race again because of these hard stages, which I believe will help me to get into better shape before the Giro Rosa. I love all of the fans along the roadside and I have amazing memories from last year. I’m coming into this race with no pressure and no expectations on myself. It will be pure racing for the team. At the moment, I feel happy and complete on my bike and that’s all that matters.”

The team also includes Alena Amialiusik, Lisa Klein, who returns to the peloton after recovering from a broken collarbone, and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot. The Barnes sisters will look for success on the flat-to-punchy stages.

“I’m looking forward especially to stage 2 as it’s my ‘home’ stage and I know a lot of people that will be coming to watch,” said Hannah Barnes, who was third overall last year. 

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com