Demi Vollering moved into the AJ Bell Women’s Tour race lead after a dominant performance in the race’s first-ever individual time trial stage in Atherstone, North Warwickshire, on Wednesday.

The SD Worx rider was the only rider to go under the 24-minute mark for the 16.6-kilometre test, with her time of 23:18 beating nearest challenger and newly-crowned UCI Hour Record holder Joss Lowden (Drops – Le Col s/b TEMPUR) by 1:04. Vollering holds a dominant gap of 1:09 over Juliette Labous (Team DSM), who was fifth on the day.

Overnight leader Clara Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine) finished 11th on the stage and slipped to third overall, 1:19 off the pace. Lowden moves up to sixth overall and is currently the top British rider, 1:47 back on the lead. Compatriots Alice Barnes (eighth) and Pfeiffer Georgi (10th ) also in the top 10.

“The start was uphill so I knew I could win it or I could lose it there if I didn’t go full gas,” said Vollering. “The first four kilometres I went all out, then the middle part was the hardest part. There was a lot of headwind after the first half of the time trial, which made it really hard. The last part again full gas, everything out.”

Looking ahead to defending her lead as the race moves to the East of England for its final three stages, the SD Worx rider added: “It would be nice of course, but first to recover, and then we will see. We have a good team for it, so I am curious to see how the rest of the week will go.”

The other race classifications remain unchanged, with Copponi in the Sigma Sports points jersey, Elise Chabbey (Canyon SRAM Racing) retaining the ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains jersey and Nina Kessler (Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank) leading the Eisberg sprints competition.

Stage four of the AJ Bell Women’s Tour takes place in Southend-on-Sea. Riders will face 117.8-kilometre (73.3-mile) stage between Shoeburyness and Southend’s Western Esplanade, the first time that the town has hosted the event.

Full details of the AJ Bell Women’s Tour can be found at womenstour.co.uk.