D'hoore wins opening stage of Ovo Energy Women's Tour
10 June 2019 02:53
Jolien D'hoore (Boels-Dolmans) won the opening stage of the OVO Energy Women's Tour, repeating her 2018 success, taking the overall lead and donning the green jersey. After a rainy stage from Beccles to Stowmarket, D'hoore was fastest in the sprint, winning with several bike-lengths over her teammate Amy Pieters and third-placed Lisa Brennauer (WNT-Rotor). For the second consecutive time, Suffolk hosted the first day of the British stage race, offering a 157.6-kilometre course from Beccles to Stowmarket. Mostly flat, there were nonetheless two third-category mountain sprints in the final third of the stage. In addition, three intermediate sprints offered valuable time bonifications. Though the start was dry, the rain soon started pouring down on the riders. This discouraged long-range attacks, and though the pace was often high, there were no breakaways from the peloton for a long time. With 60 km to go, the peloton came to the first intermediate sprint outside RAF Honnington together, and the defending champion, Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb), opened her account by winning the sprint and taking three bonus seconds ahead of Sheyla Gutierrez (Movistar Team) and Susanne Andersen (Team Sunweb).ADVERTISEMENT Team Sunweb took all places in the second intermediate sprint in Fornham St Martin as Rivera was followed by Andersen and Leah Kirchmann. The small climb of Little Welnetham saw Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) take full points ahead of Sofia Bertizzolo (Team Virtu Cycling), Elizabeth Banks (Bigla), and Janneke Ensing (WNT-Rotor). It was only with 24 kilometres to go that a rider successfully broke away from the peloton. Abby-Mae Parkinson (Drops) took her heart into both hands and went solo. As the rain stopped, the British rider increased her advantage to 1:30 minutes at the 15-kilometre mark, prompting the sprinters’ teams into action. Parkinson won the intermediate sprint at the first passage of the finish line with 12 km to go, but her advantage had dwindled to 28 seconds at the QOM sprint in Buxhall, six kilometres from the finish. She was eventually reeled in with two kilometres to go but was awarded the combativity prize for her exploits.
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