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Tour de Yorkshire 2018: Guarnier takes summit finish and overall victory on Cow and Calf

Joe Robinson
4 May 2018

American wins by 14 seconds on the Cote de Cow and Calf taking overall victory. Photos: SW Pix

Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) wins Stage 2 of the 2018 women's Tour de Yorkshire after taming the summit finish atop the Cote de Cow and Calf in Ilkley. Guarnier also takes the General Classification becoming the first rider to take the race in its new multi-stage format.

Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-Sram) crossed the line second with Dani Rowe (Great Britain) coming in third. With third, Rowe managed to secure second on GC with Amialiusik rounding out the final podium.

Moves were made by Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) on the penultimate climb of the day that produced a reduced peloton to the base of the Cow and Calf climb. 

With 400m remaining, the American launched a stinging attack with no other rider able to match. Eventually Guarnier crossed the line solo by a gap of 14 seconds.

The tale of the stage

Stage 2 of the women's Tour de Yorkshire started in Barnsley and travelled 124km north to the town of Ikley making history in the process. Not only was this the first second stage of the women's Tour de Yorkshire but also the first summit finish.

From the flag drop there was excitement as the peloton hit the base of Cote de Blacker Hill. Alice Barnes (Canyon-Sram) started to put on the pressure while the likes of Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle-High5) and Amalie Dideriksen (Boels-Dolamns) also showed face.

Eventually home rider Nikki Juniper (NJC-Biemme-Echelon) crested the climb first to take the Queen of the Mountain points. At the first intermediate sprint point of the day the time bonuses and sprint points went to Kirtsen Wild (Wiggle-High5).

With the pace high at 100km remaining, a crash occurred in the peloton with Katie Archibald the biggest casualty unable to continue.

A breakaway then formed with just the one rider, Katia Ragusa (Bepink). She established a gap of 40 seconds with 78km remaining which seemed ominous with a hungry peloton behind keeping the pace steady.

Ragusa was then joined by Manon Lloyd (Trek-Drops) who then, feeling confident, pushed on alone just ahead of the second intermediate sprint of the day in Scholes. Lloyd took first with Wild and King again taking second and third. 

King never seemed to be outside of the top 10 such was her intent for overall victory. With Boels-Dolmans present with such a strong team, King was wary of an attack at any moment. 

Within the last 30km a dangerous break formed with World Champion Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) involved gaining a 33 second gap from the main bunch. With Wiggle-High5 missing out on the break set the pace behind.

On the penultimate climb of the day, the break found themselves caught on the steep slopes with Elisa Longon Borghini launching an attack a few hundred metres from the summit. Close behind were race favourites Megan Guarnier and Dani Rowe.

A select group of favourites formed over the crest on the final run to the Cow and Calf summit finish. In the final rolling 10km, riders took turns with half-hearted attacks while Guarnier and Rowe watch each other eagle-eyed.

All attention then turned to the final climb of the Cote de Cow and Calf.