CYCLING: Sharon Laws shines in Paris at La Course

Bourton’s Sharon Laws piles on the pressure at the head of the field in the La Course in Paris. Picture: Jonathan Potter

Bourton’s Sharon Laws piles on the pressure at the head of the field in the La Course in Paris. Picture: Jonathan Potter

First published in Sport

BOURTON’S Sharon Laws did a great job for her US-based UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team when they contested the first-ever La Course race in Paris.

The high-profile women’s event was timed to coincide with the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France – with a final sprint finish on the legendary Champs-Élysées.

The flat, 13-lap, 89km circuit did not play to the strengths of Laws, the Tour of Britain mountains classification winner and instead her team role was to help achieve the best possible placing for the team’s young sprinters Hannah Barnes and Coryn Rivera Mission accomplished. The 21-year-old Riviera unleashed her powerful late sprint, earning an outstanding sixth place in the finale and also secured a position on the podium, claiming the title of best young rider for the race.

Laws finished a very commendable 24th in the invitation-only event featuring the top 20 elite women’s teams in the world and more than 100 riders.

World champion Marianne Vos proved the eventual winner, outsprinting fellow Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild, with the Canadian rider Leah Kirchmann third.

UHC sports director Rachel Heal said: “This is a great new event for the team in its first year, as well as for women’s cycling as a whole. We were honoured to take part.”

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