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Olivia Baril takes opening stage at Vuelta a Extremadura

Canadian cyclist Olivia Baril, riding for Movistar Team, clinched victory in the first stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a Extremadura, establishing herself as the race leader. The stage, spanning from Nuñomoral to Coria, saw Baril break away in the final metres, securing a comfortable win with a two-second lead over a quartet led by Australian rider Brodie Chapman of Team Lidl-Trek.

Baril’s triumph, bolstered by bonus seconds, places her atop the general classification, with a twelve-second advantage over Chapman and fourteen seconds over teammate Mareille Meijering of Movistar. Following closely are Catalina Soto Campos of Laboral Kutxa, Ellen van Dijk of Lidl-Trek (returning to competition after maternity leave), and Paula Patiño of Movistar.

Throughout the stage, there were notable efforts, including a solo attempt by Stina Kagevi of Team Coop-Repsol, ultimately reabsorbed by the peloton late on. Aillen Schweikart of Laboral Kutxa displayed consistent performance, earning leadership in both the ‘Combativity’ and ‘Mountain’ categories, despite a fall near the finish line.

In reaction to the stage, Brodie Chapman, finishing second, commented on the challenging weather conditions and praised her teammates for their cohesion and resilience. Ellen van Dijk, securing fifth place in her comeback race, expressed her satisfaction with her role as team captain and praised the performance of the young riders. Both riders reflected on the emotions of racing and their aspirations for the upcoming stages.

The second stage of the Vuelta Ciclista Femenina de Extremadura originally was due to go from Trujillo to Pico Villuercas, covering a distance of 96.4 kilometres. The stage, which was due to finish at an altitude of 1,578 metres has been shortened due to adverse weather conditions. The race will be around 8km shorter and finish with a downhill stint into Guadelupe.

2024 Vuelta a Extremadura Stage 1 result

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Main photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency