Emma Johansson delivered the first Friends Life Women’s Tour leader’s jersey to her Orica-AIS team Wednesday in Northampton, England.
The Swedish veteran topped world champion Marianne Vos (Rabo-liv), who finished second in the sprint.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” Johansson said in a team press release. “I was on Marianne’s wheel, and when I could come around her, I thought, ‘Wow, I’m actually going to beat her in a sprint.’ Marianne has a really good sprint, so I was quite surprised. I can sprint obviously — especially when it’s been technical or hard or cold like it was today. Still, I can hardly believe it.”
Local favorite Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare) earned the Best British Rider jersey with third on the stage.
“I’ve been nervous since I knew we were coming to the race, so to get stage 1 out of the way is great,” Barnes told the Northampton Herald & Post. “I didn’t expect to be in third place, so to do that and win two jerseys is great — it was one of my best-ever results.”
Johansson leads the overall by four seconds ahead of Thursday’s second stage. The race’s second leg covers 118 kilometers from Hinckley to Bedford.