Lorena Wiebes won stage four of the Women’s Tour of Britain after prevailing in an uphill sprint finish on the seafront in Southend. The Team DSM rider edged out Chiara Consonni (Valcar–Travel & Service) and Chloe Hosking (Trek–Segafredo) for her 11th victory of the season.
Several early attempts to form a breakaway on the 117.8km stage, which began in Shoeburyness, proved fruitless before Janneke Ensing (Team BikeExchange) soloed away from the bunch to take the first intermediate sprint at Burnham-on-Crouch after 50.7km. After Ensing was caught by the peloton, Lourdes Oyarbide of Movistar Team launched a lone attack of her own with Anna Christian (Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur) trying to bridge across.
Oyarbide was eventually swallowed up by the peloton before Wiebes won the second intermediate sprint at Woodham Ferrers with 92.3km raced. There were numerous late attacks and Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM) won the only categorised climb of the day at Hambro Hill. The sprinters’ teams managed to keep the bunch together on the approach to Southend and Wiebes took the win.
“It was a fast day of racing today but we rode really well together,” Wiebes was quoted as saying on the Team DSM website. “We did a good job taking the bonus seconds during the day in the race for GC and overall we had it all under control today. It was a chaotic final and at one point before the downhill we lost each other but I found my way and was able to finish the teamwork off and win the stage.”
Wiebes’s Dutch compatriot Demi Vollering (Team SD-Worx) stayed out of trouble to maintain her 1min 9sec general classification lead over Juliette Labous (Team DSM), with Clara Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) in third place overall. Leah Kirchmann (Team DSM) has moved up to sixth place, 1min 46sec off the lead.
The race will stay in Essex on Friday for stage five from Colchester to Clacton-on-Sea, before finishing in Felixstowe on Saturday.