Cycling

Ratto wins Stage two of Women's Tour

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Armitstead leads the best British rider classification (©GettyImages)
Armitstead leads the best British rider classification (©GettyImages).

Rossella Ratto held on to win Stage two of the Friends Life Women's Tour after breaking away early on.

Ratto surged clear of the chasing peloton with around half of the 118.5km race still to go and with 30km left she was joined by Susanna Zorzi but the Italian rider outsprinted Zorzi to take the Stage win and the yellow jersey.

This stage was supposed to be one for the sprinters of the Tour who saw the downhill finish as an opportunity to pick up a stage win but with the peloton failing to catch the two lead riders it wasn't to be.

The peloton finished six seconds later and was led by race favourite Marianne Vos. Stage one's winner Emma Johansson arrived with the main group too but it wasn't enough to keep her wearing yellow.

Lucy Garner was Great Britain's highest placed finisher as her strong sprint for the line meant she finished in fifth.

Garner claimed she was happy to be finishing in high positions and praised the fantastic crowd.

The Giant-Shimano rider said, according to British Cycling: "Katie (Archibald) was really helping me out today. Yesterday she was just getting used to it but today she was really up there and really helping me. It was really nice that she was willing and determined for me to try and do as well as I can.

"I'm happy that I'm continuously getting myself up there but obviously I'd love a win. I've still got a long season left so we'll see how it goes.

"The whole way around everyone was just screaming my name it was so nice. I was smiling constantly. All the little kids at school were saying 'Go GB, Go Lucy' it was really nice to hear that."

Fellow Brit Lizzie Armitstead also had a strong sprint finish and claimed seventh spot as well as picking up valuable time bonuses at the various intermediate sprint points throughout the course. The three seconds she received raises her to fifth overall in the General Classification making her the new leader of the best British rider classification.

Hannah Barnes lost the best British rider jersey as well as the best young rider jersey after Armitstead and Ratto's success.

Stage two result

1 Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estadio de Mexico-Faren Kuota, 3:02:02
2 Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana BePink, same time
3 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-liv, +6secs
4 Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands, st
5 Lucy Garner (GB) Giant-Shimano, st
6 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda, st
7 Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans, st
8 Aurore Verhoven (Fra) Lointek, st
9 Aude Biannic (Fra) Lointek, st
10 Chloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products, st

General classification

1 Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estadio de Mexico-Faren Kuota, 5:30:18
2 Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana BePink, +5sec
3 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-liv, +6secs
4 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS, +7
5 Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans, +14
6 Hannah Barnes (GB) UnitedHealthcare, +15
7 Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Boels-Dolmans, +16
8 Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized-lululemon, same time
9 Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Astana BePink, st
10 Lucy Garner (GB) Giant-Shimano, +19

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