British trio aiming to chase down Lotte Kopecky at Tour of Britain

Lotte Kopecky rides with the peloton
Overall race leader Lotte Kopecky rides with the peloton through the village of Goostrey during stage thee on Saturday - Reuters/Molly Darlington

Anna Henderson, Pfeiffer Georgi and two-time race winner Lizzie Deignan will all start Sunday’s final stage of the Tour of Britain Women within 43 seconds of the lead. But the trio will have their work cut out catching the Belgian world champion Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx), who has proved herself the strongest rider this week.

Kopecky won a reduced bunch sprint into Llandudno on Thursday’s opening stage, then broke clear along with Henderson (Great Britain Cycling Team) on the stage into Wrexham on Friday, prevailing over the British rider on the final uphill drag.

In Saturday’s penultimate stage in Warrington, Kopecky turned provider, dropping team-mate Lorena Wiebes off in the final 200m. Wiebes, the world’s best sprinter, made no mistake, outkicking Charlotte Kool (Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL) and Georgia Baker (Liv-Alula-Jayco) to make it a hat-trick of wins for SD Worx.

Kopecky continues to lead both the general classification and the sprinters’ classification, while Henderson’s 25th place on stage three was enough to retain second overall in the GC, at 17 seconds, and the Best of British jersey. Georgi (Team DSM-Firmenich-PostNL) lies fourth overall at 38 seconds, while Deignan, also racing for the Great Britain team this week with Lidl-Trek not having sent a team, is a further five seconds behind in sixth place overall. The former world champion and London 2012 silver medallist also retains the Queen of the Mountains jersey.

Great Britain's Lizzie Deignan (neon bib) at the start of stage one of the Women Tour of Britain 2024 from Welshpool to Llandudno on June 6
Lizzie Deignan in action during stage one from Welshpool to Llandudno

Great Britain are yet to announce their selections for the road race at this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris. Welsh duo Elinor Barker, who could double up on road and track, and Elynor Bäckstedt are also riding in the Great Britain team in this race and will be hoping to catch the selectors’ eye.

Greater Manchester will host Sunday’s final stage. The anticlockwise route will cross the Ashton Canal, heading north-east to take in the towns of Shaw and Rochdale and two Queen of the Mountains segments, including the iconic Rake climb in Ramsbottom.

A fast, flat run into Leigh will likely provide the platform for SD Worx to complete a clean sweep of stage wins plus the overall for Kopecky.

Roglic clear in Criterium

Meanwhile, at the Criterium du Dauphine, Primoz Roglic made it back-to-back wins with victory on stage seven to increase his overall lead heading into Sunday’s final stage.

Roglic (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the yellow jersey from Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) on Friday and the Slovenian is now 62 seconds clear after winning the summit finish at Samoens 1600.

Both Roglic and Evenepoel were caught up in the mass crash on Thursday, which led to stage five being neutralised. Evenepoel, who was leading the race at the time, appears to have come off worse. He was dropped with 7km to go on the final climb, dropping from second in the general classification to sixth at 2min 15sec.

The Criterium du Dauphine is a key warm-up race for the Tour de France, which begins in Florence at the end of the month. Evenepoel said he was not panicking.

“I understand that people may have doubts, but I don’t care,” said the 24 year-old Belgian, who claimed he was still a kilo or two above his Tour weight, as well as suffering from his crash Thursday. “There is certainly still work to be done, but there is no reason to panic. I just have to get better.”

Slovenian Roglic, 34, crossed the line before America’s Matteo Jorgenson, who has moved into second place overall, with Canada’s Derek Gee going third in the GC.

British rider Tao Geoghegan Hart (Lidl-Trek) was one of several to withdraw either before or during Saturday’s stage. The former Giro d’Italia winner was also caught up in Thursday’s crash and still suffering its effects.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.