Festival Elsy Jacobs (st. 1)
Alicia González takes 14th into main group’s sprint in Steinfort -with many splits due to crash inside final 2km- after great overall performance from whole Movistar Team.
The Movistar Team showed yet again on stage one of the Festival Elsy Jacobs (UCI 2.1), 98km with a rolling circuit around Steinfort, they deserve to be considered as one of the most courageous, well-balanced teams in the current UCI Women peloton. The ladies directed by Jorge Sanz did not stop attacking for the two and a half hours of racing, yet were unable to stay away from a bunch which ultimately contested the sprint win – claimed by local hero Christine Majerus (DLT).
As the rain showed up into the final stages of the race, the slippery roads were bound to cause a crash which happened into a narrow turn left with less than 2km to go. The main group was reduced to barely 20 riders, including young Spaniard Alicia González, who finished in 14th place. As well as the Asturias native, really active covering the moves during the whole race, the other Blues were also prominent at the front: Neylan, Rodríguez, Alba Teruel –solo leader for nearly 20km halfway through the race– and Aude Biannic, with a late attack, tried to break a peloton apart and even attempted to lead Alicia out into the last 5km.
Majerus is the new race leader, with Lourdes Oyarbide in 12th spot overall -times neutralized after the crash- before Sunday’s showdown in Garnich (110km), including several climbs (1.2km, 4% avg.) to try and avoid another bunch kick.
Picture 1 (c): Grand Ducal Cycling