D'hoore wins Women's Tour opening stage
The 2018 OVO Energy Women’s Tour got under way in Suffolk this morning, with some of cycling's biggest names hurtling through the likes of Framlingham, Needham Market and Stowmarket.
And it was Jolien D’hoore who got off to a winning start, just as she left off in London in 2017 by sprinting to victory at the head of a world-class field in Southwold.
The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider headed to victory at the seafront finish ahead of former World Champion Marta Bastianelli (Alé Cipollini) and Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) to pull on the first OVO Energy Green Jersey of the 2018 race.
D’hoore, who broke her collarbone three weeks ago, was given a perfect lead out by her team-mates out of the final corner with 340 metres to go to take her third win in the race, following victories at Clacton (2015) and London (2017).
"Even before today’s stage I wasn’t sure where I was at with my form," said D’hoore. "But the team had 100 per cent trust in me and they gave me a perfect lead out going into the finish. It’s really great to start with a win, the pressure is off now."
"The stage was pretty flat and everyone knew that it was going to come down to a sprint, but it got pretty nervous and hectic going into the final and thankfully I was in a really good position on the last corner.
"I started my sprint a little early but managed to hold on and it worked out really well in the end. We had a plan going into the stage and we struck to it perfectly. The finish was quite tricky going into the wind and slightly uphill, but it couldn’t have gone any better."
D’hoore also takes the Breast Cancer Care Points jersey thanks to her win, while the Boels-Dolmans team claimed both the SKODA Queen of the Mountains jersey with Christine Majerus and Eisberg Sprints jersey through Amy Pieters.
WaowDeals Pro Cycling’s Dani Rowe finished the stage as the top Brit overall in fifth and so took the Adnams Best British Rider jersey, in the hometown of the Suffolk brewer.
Tomorrow's second stage sees the Tour return to Northamptonshire for the fifth time with a 143-kilometre stage from Rushden to Daventry.