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Watch as Clara Copponi takes victory as Women's Tour hurtles into Bury St Edmunds after Police accident causes hour suspension



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An eventful first day of the 2022 Women's Tour culminated in Bury St Edmunds with French rider Clara Copponi sprinting to victory to take charge of the yellow jersey.

It provided an historic moment for the 23-year-old, who rides for France outfit FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, being the first road race win of her career.

The crowds lining Angel Hill were made to wait around an hour longer than expected for the culmination of the day's action – which had begun with an 11am start in Colchester – after a police motorcyclist collided with another vehicle.

Clara Copponi shows what it means after she wins Stage 1 of the 2022 Women's Tour in Bury St Edmunds Picture: Mecha Morton
Clara Copponi shows what it means after she wins Stage 1 of the 2022 Women's Tour in Bury St Edmunds Picture: Mecha Morton

It happened on the approach to Hitcham on the B1115 with race organisers suspending the race just after 2.05pm with just under 35km of the 142.1km route to go. It allowed the police officer to be given medical care at the scene and be taken to hospital with leg and shoulder injuries. It has since been confirmed the officer has been discharged.

British rider Danielle Shrosbree of home team CAMS – Basso had built up a minute lead which was maintained in the neutralised 1.2km restart.

But despite the 27-year-old's brave solo efforts she could not stop the peloton reeling her in, eventually passing her with around 15km to go.

The crowds in Bury St Edmunds were treated to a thrilling finish as Clara Copponi won by a narrow margin on Angel Hill Picture: Mecha Morton
The crowds in Bury St Edmunds were treated to a thrilling finish as Clara Copponi won by a narrow margin on Angel Hill Picture: Mecha Morton

From there it was fast and furious all the way to the finish line just past Bury St Edmunds' iconic Cathedral.

Copponi managed to just pip Italian duo Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ) and Elena Cecchini (Team SD Worx) to the line in a reduced bunch sprint after a final-kilometre crash removed pre-stage favourite Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) out of contention.

The delight was clear to see on the face of the UCI World ranked 31 rider as it began sink before she dismounted her bike in front of the cheering crowds.

See what the French winner had to say to the media and watch the thrilling climax with our video below.

Also called up to the stage during the victory ceremony was 38-time Luxembourg national champion Christine Majerus of Team SD Worx. The 35-year-old was presented with the green Skoda UK Queen of the Mountains jersey with victory in both ascents – at Brantham and Bildeston.

Le Col –Wahoo's Dutch rider Maike Van der Duin was presented the red Pillar Sprints Jersey after her domination in both sprint stages, in Holbrook and Hadleigh.

Meanwhile, Shrosbree's breakaway efforts were rewarded with the presentation of the Adyen Combativity Award. See what she had to say about how her race panned out in our video interview below.

Finishing fourth was Canyon//SRAM Racing rider Alice Barnes, who took the honour of Best British Rider, an award she won overall in 2021, after the opening day.

“My team-mates tried to help me and we had aimed to be patient,” said Barnes, “But I was blocked to get to them, so I made the choice to go alone in the final.

“I was able to find my way close to the front before the roundabout but I have to admit we’d already been slipping a lot all day on the wet roads and that didn’t give me a lot of confidence.

“The riders ahead of me took the left-hand corner too hot and crashed. I was able to find my way through and did my best in the final 100m.”

Highlights of today's race can be seen on ITV4 at 10pm.

For full results and standings, powered by Brother UK, click here.

The crowds on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds waited patiently for the delayed race to finish Picture: Mecha Morton
The crowds on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds waited patiently for the delayed race to finish Picture: Mecha Morton
The crowds on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds waited patiently for the delayed race to finish Picture: Mecha Morton
The crowds on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds waited patiently for the delayed race to finish Picture: Mecha Morton
The crowds on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds waited patiently for the delayed race to finish Picture: Mecha Morton
The crowds on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds waited patiently for the delayed race to finish Picture: Mecha Morton
The crowds on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds waited patiently for the delayed race to finish Picture: Mecha Morton
The crowds on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds waited patiently for the delayed race to finish Picture: Mecha Morton

Stage 2 tomorrow sees the riders go in a 92.1km loop from Harlow in Essex before four more days of racing with the final sixth stage ending on Saturday in Oxford.