Lotto Belgium Tour (prologue)
French rouleur claims first ever GC lead for Movistar Team after conquering Nieuwpoort prologue in Lotto Belgium Tour.
A special victory, one for the books. Following splendid performances in the Spanish National Series, five national titles in June, remarkable results in the UCI Women’s WorldTour and getting five of its ten members into the UCI world ranking’s top 100, the Movistar Team directed by Jorge Sanz grabbed on Tuesday its first international win. French road race champion Aude Biannic stormed to victory the prologue of the Lotto Belgium Tour (2.1), a 3.6km course in coastal Nieuwpoort (Belgium), to become the first GC leader.
Over an explosive, technical course, the Rennes native –sixth-placed finisher in the recent Ladies Tour of Norway (WWT)– bested Dutchwomen Riejanne Markus and Anouska Koster (Waowdeals) by 2″ and 3″, respectively, to don the first golden jersey after good overall performance from all Blues, five of them within the top 30.
Oyarbide (14th today), Jasinska (16th), Teruel, González and Rodríguez will defend Biannic’s position over three stages through Friday. Tomorrow’s route, flat yet surely nervous, will take the bunch from Moorslede to Dadizele in West Flanders, 117km with many top-tier squads trying to derail the Blues’ plans.
Aude Biannic: “I’m so happy to have notched up the first ever UCI win for the women’s team. All my team-mates are so happy to have me claiming this one, even more so our team director, Jorge Sanz. It’s really a team victory, all staff members working hard for us all season. Everything has been like a dream for me since I won the National Championships’ road race back in June. It’s a way to pay everyone back for their kindness to me, their support all over the WorldTour season. Right now I’m only thinking about enjoying this victory, the GC lead – we’ll think tomorrow about our strategy for the upcoming three stages. We’ve got a strong team and we’re convinced we can build up from this and chain some good results during the week.”