Then Team SD Worx started the flat stage to Aranda De Duero with five riders. The first stage seemed to be heading for a sprint. Spurred on by Trek-Segafredo, the peloton was put on a leash several times before breaking into pieces. Team SD Worx did not miss the right echelon and remained attentive at the front, without spilling too much. “We were going for Lotte today, so we waited for the sprint,” sportive director Anna van der Breggen explains. “Still, it got exciting for a while because there was quite a strong wind, but we managed to hold on well at the front.”
“The high temperature (40 degrees) made it extra tough, but the girls ate and drank well. They put Lotte off perfectly, after which she finished it off convincingly. It is super for her to come back into a competition like this. If you win like that, you draw a lot of confidence from it.”
For Lotte Kopecky, it is the third victory this season, after her wins in the Strade Bianche and in the Tour of Flanders. “This is indeed the perfect start to the second part of the season. There was quite a strong crosswind, so it was difficult to stay out of the wind and save power. But I managed quite well, with Demi Vollering in my wheel in case something happened. Such an uphill sprint suits me, I knew that this stage would be something for me. So I did not hesitate. With 200 metres to go, I went and managed to hold on until the end. Will I defend the leader’s jersey? Tomorrow there will probably be another sprint chance, so I would like to go for a second stage win in a row,” she concluded.