Barnes wins Tour Femenino de San Luis stage 1

The 21-year-old Briton claims the first stage of the six-day race in Argentina, taking the race lead and points jersey

UnitedHealthcare’s Hannah Barnes won stage 1 of the Tour Femenino de San Luis on Sunday. Elena Cecchini was second, and Michela Pavin finished third.

The 80-kilometer day around the El Durazno region was marked by a number of attacks, but none of the breakaway moves were successful.

“Today we had a lot of scenarios that we could work with,” Barnes said. “We attacked a few times on the climbs, but with 10 kilometers to go, we realized it would be a sprint.”

The peloton, and especially UnitedHealthcare, worked hard to set up a bunch gallop. Barnes, 21, handily won the sprint, a day after her team claimed victory in the Grand Prix Juana Koslay.

“The finish was chaotic and getting organized was tough, but we kept our heads and with a kilometer to go, Scotti [Wilborne] took the front and dropped me off in perfect position,” said Barnes. “I’m really happy to finish it off with the win for the team.”

“After yesterday’s win, we knew that Hannah was sprinting really well, and a bunch finish gave us a great opportunity to take the stage win and the leader’s jersey,” team director Rachel Heal said. “With spirits high after yesterday’s great start, the riders were motivated to bring home another victory and it’s fantastic to back up yesterday’s win with another win today. Now we need to work on keeping the jersey.”

The stage win earned three jerseys for Barnes: the race leader’s jersey, best under-23 rider jersey, and the sprinter’s jersey. The six-stage race continues Monday with a 74-kilometer stage from Villa Mercedes to Línea, Argentina.