Lorena Wiebes bounced back from an opening day crash to take victory on stage two of the Women’s Tour in Harlow today.

The Dutch rider underlined why she had been the hot favourite 24 hours earlier as she easily powered clear to win a sprint finish with room to spare at the end of the 92km stage that started and finished in the town.

Barbara Guarischi edged out Shari Bossuyt in a battle for second place, while stage one winner Clara Copponi rolled home in sixth to retain the overall lead.

Wiebes, who came into this race on the back of her victory in the RideLondon Classique at the end of last month, finished down in 85th on Monday after a late crash, but had no such troubles a day later.

That was despite her DSM team-mates being left out of position by a crash in the final 10km, leaving Wiebes to ride the wheels herself before launching her attack.

“If you smell the finish line, I guess you have more motivation,” the 23-year-old said.

Wiebes’ victory moved her up to third overall, four seconds off Copponi in yellow and one second behind Maike van der Duin in second place – although Wednesday’s rolling stage from Tewkesbury to Gloucester could produce more significant gaps.

This stage had been animated by Sammie Stuart, the 31-year-old firefighter making her debut in the race, as she attacked midway through the day to go solo.

But after the Cams-Basso rider was caught with 20km to go, Lily Williams and Gladys Verhulst tried a counter-attack, holding only a slim advantage over the peloton even as a crash split the chasing group, putting some of the DSM riders out of position.

The leading duo were caught inside the final three kilometres as the sprinters lined up, but once Wiebes attacked, nobody else could live with her power.