The opening stage of this year’s Vuelta Andalucia Ruta del Sol Elite Women was won by Tamara Dronova. The Russian who rides for Israel-Premier Tech Roland took her first victory in 2 years and her first at a level higher than the lowest .2 level. Notable for the way she burst to wider attention last season, Dronova hadn’t taken a victory despite a strong season. A crash at the beginning of 2023 at the UAE Tour Women derailed her spring somewhat but she appears back in good form at Burgos a week and a half ago before today’s win.
The stage saw the peloton ride 117km from Alcalá al Real to La Zubia, taking in 1,600 metres of elevation in the process in a rolling sort of day. The Colombia Pacto por el Deporte – GW Shimano team were particularly active. Estefania Herrera Marin got the ball rolling with an attack before teammate Jessenia Menese took the 2nd QoM point of the day. However, Movistar’s Lourdes Oyarbide took the QoM jersey at the end of the stage after finishing 2nd on the pair of QoMs today.
When it came to the final uphill sprint, Linda Zanetti led out the front runners but Tamara Dronova was the strongest rider on the day. Michaela Drummond took her best result yet for Farto-BTC with 3rd, pushing Zanetti close to the line. In the post-race interview, Dronova didn’t commit to a GC battle but will see how she fares on days like tomorrow’s hilly finish.
2023 Vuelta Andalucia Ruta del Sol Stage 1 result
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