Clara Copponi gets Ride London off to a strong start

Third place for our French sprinter in the opening stage

How it happened

The three-day stage race started with the longest stage, 159km from Saffron Walden to Colchester, both in the county of Essex. The two-rider breakaway of Lea Lin Teutenberg (Ceratizit) and Rebecca Koerner (Uno-X), which lead the race for most of the stage, was caught 15 kilometers from the finish. This prompted a reaction from Lauretta Hanson and Alice Towers (Canyon//SRAM), who tried to surprise the peloton, but were never allowed more than 10 seconds ahead.

Coming into the finish in Colchester the stage was set for an uphill bunch sprint in the town center. Clara Copponi was positioned well by her teammates and unleashed a strong and long sprint on the ramp to the line. The Frenchwoman crossed the line having emptied the tank, but clearly pleased at the podium performance she had fought for.

Clara’s reaction

“I really trusted the girls at the end, it was the first race I did with Fleur and Lizzie. I managed to stay in the wheels when I needed to. At the end they put me in the first position in the last corner, I stayed in the best sprinters’ wheel and did my best in the sprint. I’m really happy and thanks to the girls. I hope to do the same in the next stages. We will do our best tomorrow and Sunday. I’m in good shape and I just want to enjoy it and hopefully take a win for the girls. I really like to race in this country, it’s always nice at the end. It’s good for the head.”

(Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

Lizzie and Pfeiffer joking before the start (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

A strong ride from 18-year-old Fleur Moors (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

A satisfied Clara hits the podium! (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)