The Ronde van Vlaanderen.

The Ronde van Vlaanderen.

CANYON//SRAM Racing and I will race the iconic, Ronde van Vlaanderen in Belgium on Sunday 1st April. The team’s line up for 'Flanders' is Elena Cecchini, Lisa Klein, Kasia Niewiadoma, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Trixi Worrack and I. 

Ronny Lauke, my Sports Director and Team Manager admitted that the decision of the final six riders for CANYON//SRAM Racing to start on Sunday hadn’t been an easy one. “It’s the first time for a long time that we’ve had a real problem to figure out which six riders are the best for the race. We’ve been forced to make some uncomfortable decisions because we now have such a strong group of riders to choose from,” 

The prestige, history and atmosphere combined with the brutal physical and mental demands of Ronde van Vlaanderen makes it a race that every rider wants to win in her career.

My team mate Pauline believes that the harder the race the more sweet the victory, and Flanders is hard!!

“It’s an iconic name in the sport. The conditions riders face, the climbs, the cobbles, you need to have so much quality as a rider to win it. I think that every rider wants to prove that they are something special" says Ronny Lauke. 

After a successful start to the spring races Ronny believes we can go into Ronde van Vlaanderen with confidence and with several options to play.

We took our first one-day WorldTour victory (Trofeo Alfredo Binda) 2 weeks ago and we are now in the position where we don’t need to be nervous about getting the victory but now we know how to make it happen. We are all very excited about tomorrow and we hope to perform well and leave an impression on the 2018 edition. 

The 151km Ronde van Vlaanderen covers five cobblestone sections and eleven climbs. This year's course is almost identical to the 2017 edition that was won from a 19-rider sprint, one of the biggest groups to come to the line together since Ina-Yoko Teutenberg won in 2009.

The race starts at 10:55 CET on Sunday 1 April and can be followed on Twitter with #UCIWWT and #RVVwomen. It will be broadcast live on Canvas-Sporza from 13:35 CET.


The 2018 season begins - Setmana Cyclist Valenciana

The 2018 season begins - Setmana Cyclist Valenciana


CANYON//SRAM racing and I will start the 2018 road season with the four-day stage race; Setmana Ciclista Valenciana in Spain. The race starts on the Thursday 22nd February and will run until the Sunday 25th February. I will line up alongside Alena Amialiusik, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Kasia Niewiadoma, Tanja Erath and Christa Riffel. 

The tour at a glance:

Stage 1 Rótova - Gandía. A 118km stage with two climbs each 6km in length. The second from Barx has an average gradient of 6% with the summit coming only 13km's from the finish line. This stage could shape the GC for the remainder of the race.

Stage 2 Castelló - Vila Real. A 115km day based around the coastal town of Castelló. It's anticipated as a possible stage for the sprinters however the 7km 8% climb of Desert de Les Palmes comes 45kms from the finish and could add some drama. Four corners in the final kilometre may play into the cards for a well-timed attack.

Stage 3 Sagunt - València. Spectators in the departure town of Sagunt will see the peloton for both intermediate sprints of the day. Then while the peloton climb the long but gradual, L'Oronet the spectators can make their way to the centre of Valencia where they'll see the winner cross the line after the 137km stage.

Stage 4 Benidorm - Benidorm. We will be back on familiar roads on the tour's final stage. We have had our recent team training camp based out of Benidorm so we have seen the final stage and know what to expect and I believe it will be a very challenging day. The three laps of the 38km circuit will decide the winner of the second edition of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.

Watch the final of every stage here, or follow on Twitter with #SCV2018.


Kasia Niewiadoma, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and I were in a 9-rider breakaway that, with more than three minutes advantage at one point, stayed away to the finish. I won the sprint ahead of Ashleigh Moolman (CBT), who also finished second on the general classification.

After losing the orange leader's jersey yesterday my motivation was high. We had a really cool team plan going into the final stage and we were all really excited for it.

The team had a lot of confidence in me which made me believe in myself too. I knew it was going to be a hard day but after all the work the staff and riders have put into this race, and also our recent training camp, I couldn't not give it everything.  We've worked really hard as a team and this is a great reward for the riders and staff.

My next race will be Strade Bianchi on Saturday 3rd March. 

Prudential Ride London Classique Preview

Prudential Ride London Classique Preview

The Prudential Ride London Classique is a UCI Women’s World Tour race, the highest level of race in professional women's cycling and a status it has maintained for the second year in concession. The race attracts manyof the best World Tour Women's teams due to it's unique venue and aggressive racing. It is also, famously, the richest race on the Women’s calendar, with a huge prize pot of €100,000. The €25,000 the winner takes home dwarfs any other race throughout the year.

I have taken part in the Prudential Ride London Classique ever since the first edition back in 2013, where I claimed second place behind multiple Olympic Champion Laura Trott.

The course is fairly flat with only a slight drag up Constitution Hill. The route passes Big Ben before turning left on to Whitehall and right on to the Strand, turning again to come back up the Strand in the opposite direction, before going through Trafalgar Square and Admiralty Arch and finally back on to The Mall.

As you can see from the description above, there are lots of corners for the peloton to negotiate. And due to the nature of this course, the race is always aggressive with many teams taking advantage of the twists and turns to encourage a break to get away. That said, the majority of teams go to the event predicting a bunch sprint, so have their team sprinter saving energy, while the remaining riders control the peloton, making sure they give their sprinter the best opportunity to cross the line with her arms aloft, celebrating the win.

You will be able to watch us roll away from St James’s Park at 17:00pm on Saturday the 29th July. We will race past the start/finish arena twelve times, so there is plenty of opportunities for you to cheer us on and see some of the biggest names in the women's peloton.

The Canyon/SRAM team for The Prudential Ride London Classique is Hannah Barnes (GBR) Lisa Brennauer (GER) Alexis Ryan (USA) Barbara Guarschi (ITA) Mieke Kroger (GER) Trixi Worrack (GER

The final stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour

The final stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour

CANYON//SRAM Racing have led Hannah Barnes to a commanding performance on the final stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour today in central London. Barnes won both intermediate sprints and sprinted to second on the stage to catapult herself into third on the general classification. Her efforts also won her the Best British Rider jersey and the Most Combative jersey.

"It feels really great. We had the plan to go for the intermediate sprints which I won both and then I knew if I wanted to move onto the podium for GC then I had to get a result in the final. To come second at the finish and third on general classification it's a great feeling for me and for the team," said Barnes.

The 62km London Stage had the hammer down from the gun with a 9-rider move going clear in the first kilometre. Barnes made her intentions strikingly clear when she won the first sprint for bonus seconds from the breakaway group despite being outnumbered. At the second sprint Barnes had secured the Best British Rider jersey after a powerful lead out from all of her teammates, leaving the goal of a stage win and general classification podium remaining.

"I'm really happy with today. Coming to the finish you could tell that a a lot of people were really tired. To be that close for a stage win in a proper bunch sprint it's great. Jolien (d'Hoore) who won is a true sprinter and class act so to be so close is exciting for what can come," said Barnes.

The European and American riders from CANYON//SRAM Racing now race their respective national championships in ten days time before the team' s next stage race, the Giro Rosa in Italy starting on 30 June.

(Words by Beth Duryea)


The OVO Energy Women's Tour Preview

The OVO Energy Women's Tour Preview

To kick off my first blog for ŠKODA UK, whom I have recently partnered with to try to bring you some interesting insight and content over the course of this summer, I thought I would give a short preview of the upcoming OVO Energy Women’s Tour.

The OVO Energy Women’s Tour spans five days, careering through hundreds of different towns and villages across much of the British Isles. Each stage adds a different dimension and from the relentless lanes of the Peak District, to the technical circuit on world-famous Regents Street, the peloton will face an incredibly diverse set of challenges.

So below you will find a little insight into what I think will await the peloton during the five days of racing! 

Stage 1 07/06/2017 | Daventry - Kettering | 147.5km

Northamptonshire has been committed to the OVO Energy Women’s Tour since its very first year, when they held the opening stage of the race. As my home county, I am thrilled that the area has decided to hold another stage this year and I am sure it will be a great way to start the race.

This may look a relatively flat day, however with fresh and excited legs filling the bunch, we could see a lot of attacking during the day. The second ŠKODA QOM will be the main obstacle of the day, however since we raced up the climb in the 2015 edition, many riders will know what to expect. With the climb being 60km’s from the finish, I don’t believe a deciding move will slip away, but some damage could definitely be done if a few riders have the ŠKODA QOM jersey in mind. The finish in Kettering is the same as the previous two editions so again team’s will know the roads and specifically, how important it is to be in a good position going into the final kilometers.

I am really looking forward to the opening stage and racing on home roads. It is always special to have all the support out on the road, but all the more so when it is from family and friends that don't get to see me race very often. I hope I can give them something good to cheer for!

Stage 2 08/06/2017 | Stoke-On-Trent Stage | 144.5km

Stage two will be the second time that the Women’s Tour will have come to Stoke-on-Trent after hosting a stage finish in 2016. This year will see Stoke-on-Trent host both the start and the finish of the stage so hopefully it will be a great day of racing for the locals to watch.

The first 80km’s of the stage aren’t too daunting, however there looks to be a few potential launch pads for a small breakaway to go away and get a respectable gap in the closing kilometers, especially if the composition of the riders and teams is favorable.

Gun Hill, which comes 25km’s from the finish, could be the first opportunity for the general classification riders to show their faces and test the water. The sprinters and their teams will have to get their chase organised as soon as possible over the top of the climb so they can reduce the gap and stay in contention for the final. And with a technical last few minutes of the race sure to disrupt chase efforts by lining out the bunch, this stage could really come down to the wire!

Stage 3 09/06/2017 | Atherstone - Royal Leamington Spa | 151km

The stage is relatively flat, so I believe it will be a large group coming to the finish line to fight it out for the win, especially if we have seen some fireworks yesterday and there are some tired legs in the bunch. However, with both the ŠKODA QOM's coming close together in the final 40km’s, this stage could easily fall in to the hands of the opportunists of the bunch.

Stage 4 10/06/2017 | Chesterfield & Derbyshire | 123km

Stage 4 of this year’s OVO Energy Women’s Tour will take us through the beautiful Peak District.  If the general classification is still tight coming in to today’s stage, then these roads will provide the perfect terrain for teams to be aggressive and blow the race to bits. 

The whole day is lumpy, with the majority of the climbing coming in the first half of the race, which could make for some very tired bodies coming into the final kilometers. I predict there will be small groups coming to the line with only a number of riders contesting the sprint in Chesterfield. Look for your OVO Energy Women’s Tour winner to be crowned today, with ‘only’ the flat central London criterium left tomorrow.

Stage 5 11/06/2017 | The London Stage | 88.2km

Starting and finishing in Regent Street, the race will take on 14 laps of a deceptively hard 6.2km circuit. The crowds are always great racing in central London and the circuit will give them the perfect opportunity to see the peloton race past numerous times. The circuit is technical with many corners, some tight hairpins and some fast straights, meaning we will likely see one big final fast and furious bunch sprint to round off a fantastic week of racing around the UK. 

The OVO Energy Women's Tour will start on Wednesday 7 June and finish in London on Sunday 11th June. The Canyon//SRAM team roster will be myself, Lisa Brennauer (GER), Trixi Worrack(GER), Alena Amialiusik(BLR), Tiffany Cromwell(AUS) and Italian road champion Elena Cecchini.

The OVO Energy General Classification - first place on general classification

The Wiggle Points jersey – the rider with the most points from each stage finish. 

The ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains jersey (QoM) – the rider with the most points from 2 classified climbs per stage. 

The Eisberg Sprints jersey – the rider with the most points from 2 intermediate sprints per stage. 

The Adnams Best British Rider jersey – Best British rider on general classification.

A little bit of January

A little bit of January

If you are an avid follower of cycling, you would have noticed around late October all live cycling disappears from your television screens. You are at a loss with what to do every Sunday afternoon from October to January. Those short but vital few months in-between the live action are probably the most important months of the year for professionals. Every training ride and interval session is planned and analysed so your next race, season target, goal is achieved. 

The 2016 season finished a lot later than previous season’s, so the time between racing finishing and racing starting again in 2017 has been a lot shorter than the norm. My team, Canyon//SRAM went to Australia, where they raced the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans road race. I wasn't part of the team that went to Australia. Instead of going 'Down Under' I was meant to be participating in the Tour of Qatar which was planned to take place on the 31st to the 3rd February but that was unfortunatly cancelled last month, so I have spent the whole of January in Girona and will be here until late February, training, readying my self for an exciting 2017 season to start, for me, at Le Samyn des Dames on the 1st March.