With the peloton catching the break four kilometres from the finish in Clacton D'hoore, the Belgian road champion and a former junior world road champion, positioned herself perfectly coming up the long drag into the Essex seaside resort. She won by a wheel over Brennauer to record her latest victory in an increasingly impressive season.
Christine Majerus of the Boels-Dolmans team was in third with Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) in a close fourth.
"It was pretty close in the end," said D'hoore. "I went form the last corner but it was uphill and into the wind so I didn't know if I could make it.
“I was hoping Giorgia Bronzini was in my wheel, in fact the original plan was for me to lead her out but she wasn't there. She told me to go from the corner and she would try and stay in the wheel so I just gave everything until the finish,” said d’Hoore.
"I feel good, I'm getting stronger but I also have a good team around me and that makes a difference. You can never win a race alone."
The 138km stage was dominated by a two-rider escape from young German Corinna Lechner (German National Team) and experienced Dutchwoman Vera Koedooder (Bigla), who got away just before the 50km point.
The duo was able to open up a lead of almost four minutes before the peloton began to pull them back. Wiggle Honda joined some of the other sprinters’ teams in the chase and the gap began to close steadily.
Inside the final 20km the two leaders had less than a minute of their advantage left, and Koedooder decided to leave Lechner behind. With the peloton anxious not to catch the Dutch breakaway specialist too soon, she was able to able to hold off the peloton for several more kilometres. She was eventually swept up with just under four to go.
From that point the race became a high-speed dash to the Clacton seafront, where D’hoore proved herself to be the fastest on the uphill sprint.
Brennauer, the world time trial champion, is revealing an unexpected talent for sprint finishes with her second runner up spot in two days. This confirmed the Aviva Yellow Jersey that she wore today in place of the absent Armitstead, who withdrew following her nasty crash after her Stage One win in Aldeburgh.
"It was pretty hectic today with a lot of teams trying to set their sprinters up," said Brennauer. "My team did a really great job setting me up around the last left hand corner when we hit the coast. The sprint opened up and I just did my best. I want to fight for this yellow jersey but the GC is close, so much can happen.”
Brennauer also retains her lead in the Chain Reactions Cycles Points competition, with second overall D'hoore wearing that jersey for tonight's stage in Nothamptonshire. Melissa Hoskins of Orica-AIS leads the Strava Queen of the Mountains competition having picked up points on both classified climbs.
Stage Three sees the race return to Oundle, the Grand Depart town for last year's inaugural Women's Tour, with a demanding 139.2km run to Kettering through the Northamptonshire countryside. This stage is 800m short of the maximum allowed by the UCI, and will be where the race for the general classificaiton kicks off in earnest.
Stage 1: 138km, Braintree - Clacton
1 Jolien D'Hoore (BEL) Wiggle Honda 3hr 23min 25sec
2 Lisa Brennauer (GER) Velocio-SRAM
3 Christine Majerus (LUX) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
4 Emma Johansson (SWE) Orica-AIS
5 Anouska Koster (NED) Rabo Liv
6 Marta Tagliaferro (ITA) Ale Cipollini
7 Giorgia Bronzini (ITA) Wiggle Honda
8 Simona Frapporti (ITA) Ale Cipollini
9 Alexis Ryan (USA) Unitedhealthcare
10 Lucy Garner (GBR) Liv-Plantur
1 Lisa Brennauer (GER) Velocio-SRAM 6hr 03min 06sec
2 Jolien D'Hoore (BEL) Wiggle Honda 0:00:01
3 Vera Koedooder (NED) Bigla 0:00:06
4 Marta Tagliaferro (ITA) Ale Cipollini 0:00:07
5 Emma Johansson (SWE) Orica-AIS 0:00:08
6 Christine Majerus (LUX) Boels-Dolmans
7 Coryn Rivera (USA) Unitedhealthcare
8 Corinna Lechner (GER) Germany
9 Elinor Barker (GBR) Matrix Fitness 0:00:09
10 Hannah Barnes (GBR) Unitedhealthcare 0:00:11