Wiggle Honda claimed their maiden stage win at the Aviva Women’s Tour yesterday.
Jolien d’Hoore sprinted to glory for the British outfit, who are sponsored by Portsmouth-based online tri-sport retailer Wiggle.
And she then paid tribute to her team-mates, who include former i-Team rider Dani King, after the 138km energy-sapping battle from Braintree to Clacton-on-Sea.
The Belgian, who was second to team-mate Elisa Longo-Borghini in the women’s Tour of Flanders earlier this season, beat Lisa Brennauer into second spot.
Wiggle Honda’s plan had originally been to lead Italian sprinter Giorgia Bronzini out to victory in the 138km second stage.
However, the double world road champion lost the wheel of 25-year-old d’Hoore in the last corner.
‘She told me to go from the corner and she would see if she was on my wheel,’ said d’Hoore, who took a break following the spring Classics before returning to action with glory in the Diamond Tour on Sunday.
‘I gave it everything until the finish.
‘It was pretty close in the end.
‘It was uphill and into a headwind but I managed to do enough to get the win.
‘I feel pretty good. I am getting a little stronger but I also have a strong team around me.
‘You can never win a race alone, you need a team and that’s happening this year.’
The triumph, which came in 3hr 23min 25sec, saw d’Hoore jump from fifth to second in the general classification.
German Brennauer, of Velocio-SRAM, has the leader’s jersey, while Hamble-born King is 69th overall.
Lizzie Armitstead did not start yesterday as she began her recovery following a crash in the immediate aftermath of her victory on stage one in Aldeburgh.
The five-day stage race continues today with a 139.2km scrap from Oundle to Kettering.
The riders face 1.579m of challenging climbs as they wind their way through Corby, Desborough and Naseby.
And a select group is likely to contest the final sprint.
For more information, visit womenstour.co.uk