Australian cyclist Grace Brown misses Women’s Tour victory by one second

Picked for victory in the prestigious Women’s Tour, Australian top cyclist Grace Brown lost by just one second after a week-long, 720km plodding on British roads.

Brown, the top rated Aussie rider – male or female – in the UCI world rankings, missed Italian star Elisa Longo Borghini after the dramatic 143km sixth and final stage from Chipping Norton to Oxford.

Camperdown’s 29-year-old Brown, who was in the lead overnight but tied for the same time as Longo Borghini in the general classification, looked like she could be on her way to her first major stage race win as she took three bonus seconds for winning an intermediate sprint.

But Longo Borghini was rewarded for her attacking intent in the final kilometer, battling for third place behind stage winner Lorena Wiebes, earning her the four-second bonus to take the one-second victory after more than 19-and-a-quarter hours of driving for six days.

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It was so close that even Brown’s FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope teammates thought she’d won after crossing the line, but the frustrating news gradually made its way through the pack.

It was an anticlimactic finale for Brown, who could only finish 12th on the podium as Trek added Segafredo’s Longo Borghini to her considerable roster of triumphs.

But the Victorian was magnanimous in defeat, praising the Italian for her “wonderful” effort.

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