Alison Jackson gave Liv Racing great success in the first stage (134 km, Zwolle-Hardenberg) of the Simac Ladies Tour on Wednesday. Our Canadian won the stage after a long breakaway. She also took over the lead in the general classification and secured the combativity jersey and mountain jersey after being the first to reach the top of the Lemelerberg.
After just over 25 kilometres of racing, Alison Jackson went on the attack. After a while she was joined by two more riders: Nina Buysman of Parkhotel Valkenburg and Maëlle Grossetête of FDJ-Nouvelle Acquitaine. The trio built up a nice lead. But with 20 kilometres to go, the peloton increased the pace for a serious chase. Jackson was left alone with Grossetête at the front.
Thanks in part to Liv Racing’s good work in the peloton, Jackson and Grossetête started the final kilometre with a small gap. They did everything they could to stay out of the hunt of the peloton. In the end Jackson was the fastest of the two. Lorena Wiebes won the bunch sprint.
“Normally in a stage like today you would wait for the bunch sprint, but I saw opportunities for an early attack. I was happy that, after I had attacked, I was joined by two other riders as this increased a chance for success. We have seen many times in the recent past that strong leading groups can last until the finish line”, Jackson said.
“Every kilometre we came closer to the finish, it got more exciting. We had tailwind at the end. Before that, we pushed each other to ride as hard as we could at the front to make the gap big enough. Behind us, our teams tried to slow down the peloton. Whether I thought we could make it? You never count on it, but when you decide to attack you have to believe in it. If you believe you can do it, you get motivation from that. As a team, we always ride to win.”
On Thursday, Jackson will start in the leader’s jersey in the second stage of the Simac Ladies Tour. The riders will ride a time trial in Gennep.
Photo credits: Cor Vos