Marta Bastianelli Sprints To First-Ever AJ Bell Women’s Tour Stage Victory In Banbury

Oct 05 2021

Former world champion Marta Bastianelli claimed her first-ever AJ Bell Women’s Tour stage victory in Banbury, Oxfordshire, on Monday following a perfectly-timed sprint.

Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana) managed to pass Chloe Hosking (Trek-Segafredo) and FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope’s Clara Copponi in sight of the line to take the win and the race’s first leader’s jersey of 2021.

Speaking after the finish Bastianelli said; “It’s a very nice win for me. There are lots of people, lots of babies, for me it is good, because I think of my daughter.

“There was a crash with 1km to go, and luckily I did not crash but I am sorry for those that did. I started the sprint in third position, and for me it was the maximum because my coach has seen me win sprints from there.

“The sprint was not easy because it is a little bit tougher and uphill, and I think it is not for the sprinters, but for me it is a good race and a good day.”

The 2007 World Champion headed into the final corner on Banbury’s South Bar Street in third position but on the gently rising road to the finish line it was Bastianelli who powered to the line. Victory was the first for an Italian rider at the AJ Bell Women’s Tour since Stage Two of the inaugural edition in May 2014.

Top Brit was Hannah Barnes (Canyon SRAM Racing) in sixth while defending champion Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) finished 40th, 26 seconds down, after working for team-mate Hosking in the sprint.

Bastianelli also takes the Sigma Sports Points jersey while Nina Kessler (Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank) holds the Eisberg Sprints jersey and Demi Vollering (SD Worx) takes the ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains.

Highlights of Stage One are on ITV4 at 21:00 on Monday 4 October and available on demand via the ITV Hub.

Stage Two of the AJ Bell Women’s Tour starts and finishes in Walsall tomorrow (Tuesday 5 October) and features 10 laps of a 10-kilometre circuit around the ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains climb of Barr Beacon. The 102.2-kilometre (63.6-mile) stage starts from Walsall Arboretum at 11:30 and is due to finish on Lichfield Street in the town centre around 14:25.

This year’s AJ Bell Women’s Tour features its first-ever individual time trial, taking place in Atherstone on stage three (Wednesday 6 October), with the overall champion set to be crowned in Felixstowe on Saturday (9 October).

The AJ Bell Women’s Tour is sponsored by AJ Bell, one of the UK’s leading online investment platforms, helping people invest for the long term via ISAs, pensions and general investment accounts. It has a rich history of supporting elite level sport including badminton, cricket, rugby, squash and triathlon, and recently sponsored the men’s AJ Bell Tour of Britain in September, won by Wout van Aert.

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NOTES TO EDITORS
About the 2021 AJ Bell Women’s Tour
Stages
Stage One Monday 4 October Bicester to Banbury 147.6km
Stage Two Tuesday 5 October Walsall to Walsall 103km
Stage Three Wednesday 6 October Atherstone individual time trial 16.6km
Stage Four Thursday 7 October Shoeburyness to Southend-on-Sea 117.5km
Stage Five Friday 8 October Colchester to Clacton-on-Sea 95.3km
Stage Six Saturday 9 October Haverhill to Felixstowe 155km

Competing teams
• UCI Women’s World Teams: Alé BTC Ljubljana, Canyon SRAM Racing, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Liv Racing, Movistar Team, SD Worx, Team BikeExchange, Team DSM, Trek-Segafredo
• UCI Women’s Continental Teams: AWOL O’Shea, CAMS-Basso Bikes, Drops-Le Col s/b TEMPUR., Parkhotel Valkenburg, Team Coop – Hitec Products, Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, Valcar-Travel & Service

About the AJ Bell Women’s Tour
Created by SweetSpot Group in 2014, the AJ Bell Women’s Tour is the UK’s first international stage race for women, bringing the world’s top riders to compete in Great Britain as a part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour.

The race, which has been won by the likes of Marianne Vos (2014), Lizzie Deignan (2016, 2019) and Coryn Rivera (2018), attracts an annual roadside audience of 300,000, as well as over three million fans through linear and online platforms.

For further media information please contact Peter Hodges (07970 526 519 / peterh@thetour.co.uk) and Nick Bull (07977 151 184 / nickb@thetour.co.uk).