Alice Barnes sprinted to second place on the opening stage of Healthy Ageing Tour today in Assen, The Netherlands. The British road champion started her sprint early, but was unable to hold off a fast-finishing Jolien D’hoore (SDW) who took the stage win.
“The team plan was for Lisa to be there for the intermediate sprints and Alexis for the mountain classification, while I was to focus and save for the finish,” described Alice.
“There was a really strong wind up the back straight, so we planned to go into our lead out quite late. It was pretty hectic with the whole peloton being involved in the sprint finish, and we found ourselves a bit stuck on the left where everyone else wanted to be. So, Lisa and I went to the right and Lisa protected me from the wind anytime I needed it which was great.”
Coming into the sprint finish, the peloton caught a lone breakaway rider only in the final 150m. A touch of wheels from Lorena Wiebes on the back of Alice didn’t disturb her as she started her sprint early.
“I started before the corner to be first through it. It was a really long sprint and I just ran out of power in the end. I felt the crash on my back wheel but it didn’t slow me down and hopefully any riders who crashed are okay.”
For the first race of the season Alice said she was more than satisfied with the result.
“Obviously the win would have been a great start to the year but second isn’t so bad and a great result to gain confidence and work from. It was a nice start to the tour where all of my teammates did each of their jobs,” added Alice.
Alice sits second on the points classification, while Alexis is placed second on the mountain classification.
TWO STAGES REMAIN
Stage 2 ITT – Lauwersoog, 14.4km out and back course, first rider starts at 11:00CET.
Stage 3 – Col du VAM, 17 laps for total of 115.1km, starting at 09:45CET.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The remaining two stages of Healthy Ageing Tour will be broadcasted around the world live and on local television. The organisers made the live broadcast announcement on Monday, giving thanks to a group of cycling enthusiasts that donated to the crowd funding campaign, an anonymous benefactor, and the willing cooperation of Eurosport x GCN, Sport Noord and Podium TV.
Photo Credit: Thomas Maheux