We start stage two of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana tomorrow holding the lead in three jersey classifications. Following today’s opening stage from Garxeta to Gandiá in Spain, Hannah Ludwig is the leader of the youth classification, while teammate Omer Shapira leads both the mountain and points classifications. Annemiek van Vleuten (MOV) crossed the line with a solo victory and takes the overall lead by more than two minutes.
Omer was in an early two-rider breakaway but then spent around 30km alone at the front of the race. Teammate Lisa Klein was also active in a move that went away on the penultimate climb but was caught not long after.
“Heidi from Rally attacked almost straight away on the first climb and I was right there so I just followed. It was not really a plan to go in a breakaway but it worked out well,” said Omer after the stage.
“After Heidi dropped it was more difficult to be on my own. When the peloton caught me just before the last climb I couldn’t stay with them, but then I could regain my breath and I caught back to the front group that had Hannah and Neve (Bradbury).”
Omer continued, “When we went over the top we were a group of ten and we had three riders so we worked to keep away and though we tried to help Neve in the sprint for third, it didn’t really work out. But Hannah was fifth and we have some jerseys for tomorrow’s stage. Apart from the overall, the rest of the classifications are very open. We look forward to being a part of the action again tomorrow.”
Lisa, who had her first race in a month, said she was pleased with her own form and how the team raced.
“Over most of the climbs I felt good. Just at the end of the race with the heat, especially on the last climb, I felt like someone had hit me with a hammer pretty bad! Overall the feeling was good and I liked that I could see the small group going so I could go in it and just sit on.”
“With Omer in the lead, and myself in the chase group, our team had a good situation and this is something I really liked to feel within our group today. Obviously Annemiek showed she is by far the strongest climber, but we can race smart and go for some nice results and for sure we try to get a stage win,” said Lisa.
Both Hannah and Neve can also be pleased with their performances today going into another hilly stage tomorrow. Hannah is fifth on the general classification, while Neve is in ninth position and both are on the same time of 2 minutes 31 seconds behind tour leader van Vleuten.
Stage 2 | 130km | Castelló – Vila-Real | 13:30CEST | broadcast from 16:00CEST
Stage 3 |108km | Sagunt – Valéncia | 13:00CEST | broadcast from 14:45CEST
Stage 4 | 114km | Finestrat – Alacant | 12:00CEST | broadcast from 14:30CEST