Festival Elsy Jacobs got underway this evening with a fast blast around the streets of Cessange for a two kilometre long prologue, which featured a mixed bag of a parcours; with some technical sections, powerful straights and short, punchy climbs – the perfect terrain for the team to put their Scott Plasma TT bikes to the test.
First down the ramp for the team was Canadian TT champion Leah Kirchmann, who stormed around the course, setting the timing sheets alight to move into the hot seat with a time of three minutes and 15 seconds. Juliette Labous, Wilma Olausson and Esmée Peperkamp followed for the team, all producing good rides over the testing course.
It was Lorena Wiebes that was next down the ramp for the team, and she powered her way over the two kilometre challenge, besting teammate Kirchmann by three seconds at the line; moving into the hot seat with a time of three minutes a 12 seconds. Coryn Rivera was the last rider to leave the start house for the team, punching her way around the course and stoping the clock in three minutes and 22 seconds.
With all competitors finishing their efforts not long after, no one was able to match the duo of Wiebes and Kirchmann, with the Team DSM riders securing the top two spots on the stage podium after brilliant rides.
“It was a fast and technical prologue,” expressed a delighted Wiebes at the finish. “You had to go all in from the start to the finish line. This was also one of my goals today, so it’s nice to have a good day and everything go well. It’s great to finish it off with first and second for the team. We’re looking forward to the next stages now!”
Kirchmann continued: “We couldn’t ask for a better start to the race finishing 1-2! This was one of my target races for the spring, so I’m really pleased with my performance. It is a great comeback for the team after not racing last week. I’m looking forward to fighting for the GC in the upcoming stages.”
Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “I was really impressed by the whole team today. You can see that by where we’re all placed in the GC. Although with that said, it’s all really close together and a lot of things can happen in the coming days. I think this result today shows that we have really good shape and we can all be proud of the result as a team. We’ll now fight for this over the coming two days.”
|1||WIEBES Lorena||Team DSM||3:12||25|
|2||KIRCHMANN Leah||Team DSM||0:03||20|
|3||SWINKELS Karlijn||Team Jumbo-Visma Women||,,||15|