At the end of a relentless 38 km opening stage of the V-Women’s Tour, Leigh Ann Ganzar hammered home for eighth in the final sprint. The team was in the thick of it right from the start, with both Ganzar and Heidi Franz never far from the front of a select group, with Franz crossing the line in 20th.
“I felt much better today than in previous virtual races,” said Ganzar. “As we’re gearing up for real road racing, I’m bringing intensity back into my training, so this type of effort wasn’t as much of a punch in the gut. I still have some work to do on timing my sprint finish in the virtual world, but I’m happy to crack the top ten. It’s my best result in a virtual race this season.”
All three stages of the V-Women’s Tour are taking place on the RGT Cycling platform, a system the riders are still getting used to.
“The group dynamics feel different than other platforms that we’ve raced on,” Ganzar said. “The RGT platform doesn’t give a lot of room for error in terms of gaps off the back of the group, so you really have to be vigilant. But I liked today’s flat course and the steady pace.”
Tomorrow the V-Women’s Tour heads for hilly terrain on a 35.4km route taken from last year’s road edition. The riders will race up the punchy 1.7km climb into Burton Dassett three times, with the stage finishing on the final ascent. Ganzar is expecting another tough race.
“I expect that those big efforts we saw in today’s flat stage are really going to define the race tomorrow with the climbs in there. There were several attacks today so I’m looking forward to seeing more of those to keep the racing exciting and dynamic throughout the rest of the stage race.”
Stage 1 results
1 Dani Christmas (GBR) Lotto Soudal Ladies
2 Illi Gardner (GBR) CAMS-Tifosi
3 Amelia Sharpe (GBR) Team Breeze
4 Kirsten Faulkner (USA) Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank
5 Leah Dixon (GBR) Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank
6 Lizzy Banks (GBR) Bigla-Katusha
7 Joss Lowden (GBR) Drops
8 Leigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Rally Cycling
9 Emma Norsgard Jørgensen (DEN) Bigla-Katusha