Canyon//SRAM Racing’s Kasia Niewiadoma returned to winning ways at the OVO Energy Women’s Tour on Thursday as she claimed victory in the race’s first hill-top finish at Burton Dassett Country Park.

We spoke to the key players after a dramatic stage in Warwickshire to get their reaction. Here are the pick of their quotes…

Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing), stage winner

“Once I saw all the stage details I knew this one was for me. I really like this kind of climb – short, punchy; hills where I can really make an advantage over the others. I knew I needed to be there and have a great position at the bottom of the climb and then see what happens.

“I felt like a piece of crap, I felt so bad because of the rain and cold. But once you attack you go into this weird suffering mode, you forget about everything and you just want to get to the line first.

 “Once I crossed the finish line, I thought about this morning’s conversation with my boyfriend [professional rider Taylor Phinney] because he woke up and told me I was going to win today. He doesn’t say that often. I thought: ‘OK, he believes in me.”

Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb), second and OVO Energy green jersey

“It was a hard race. The finish was really hard – just all out from 600 metres to go. I felt really good already in the laps before. I thought I was strong and was happy to finish on the podium. With the rain, you needed to be careful in the corners but it was awesome.

I was already on the team bus when I heard I was in the leader’s jersey and I had to climb off and everyone was cheering for me, it was funny. 

I went all out and saw Kasia [Niewiadoma] in front of me. I tried to get closer but she was super strong and I’m happy with my second place. I first need to realise what just happened. I’m in the leader’s jersey now and it’s my first UCI Women’s WorldTour podium finish ever. I have a really strong team. They did the race last year and were super strong for Coryn [Rivera, 2018 champion] and now I’m in the jersey but we’ll see. I hope to [win the overall], I will try my best.

Lisa Brennauer (WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling), eighth 

I think we have to be happy with the result. We gave our best, I tried until the finish line and that’s what counts the most.

The race is not over, we keep on fighting an keep the spirit high. This Tour is not over yet.