Corrina Lechner shines at Gracia Orlova with surprise Stage 1 victory

Corinna Lechner 2024 Gracia Orlova Stage 1

The 36th edition of the International Gracia Orlova kicked off with an impressive start for the Wheel Divas, an underdog team from Berlin, who captured the stage 1 win and announced their ambitions loud and clear. Corinna Lechner led the team to victory, securing not only the leader’s yellow jersey but also the white jersey as the best sprinter on the day. It’s her 2nd UCI win, with her first coming 3 years previously in the Czech Republic at the Tour de Feminin.

Starting in Orlová and stretching over 104 kilometres to Štramberk, the race was marked by the fast finish of the former Massi-Tactic rider Lechner. From the early kilometres, the Wheel Divas team displayed a united front, challenging more established national and professional teams. “We know our belief can move mountains, just like David against Goliath,” said a team spokesperson, embodying their fighting spirit.

The day also proved fruitful for Lore De Schepper of AG Insurance – Soudal U23 as well, who took second place and clinched the green jersey for the mountain classification. De Schepper’s performance was a testament to her team’s tactical execution. “During the first climb, I was motivated to push for the mountain jersey and managed to maintain a strong position thanks to my teammates’ support,” De Schepper explained, describing the race’s climax which ended on a challenging uphill cobblestone stretch.

Ursa Pintar secured 3rd for the Slovenian National Team, ahead of Karin Söderqvist’s comfortably best result of the season in 4th and another Slovene in 5th with Urska Zigart.

The race continues with high stakes as the Wheel Divas aim to maintain their lead and prove their mettle against top-tier competition. With a focus on being the best German team and achieving a top overall ranking, the Wheel Divas are not just participating – they are contending for the podium in each of the five stages of this gruelling race.

2024 Gracia Orlova Stage 1 result

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