Dutch rider, Lorena Wiebes, wins stage one of Tour De France Femmes.
By: Annie Huang
On July 24th, Dutch rider, Lorena Wiebes, won the first stage of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes, edging compatriot Marianne Vos in the final sprint in Paris.
Wiebes, of team DSM, swept past three-time road world champion, Marianne Vos to clinch the leader’s yellow jersey with the historic win on the Champs-Elysees while Belgian Lotte Kopecky beat Italian Rachele Barbieri, taking third and the last of the available bonus points.
In the end, the results for stage one showed, Lorena Wiebes for first place, Marianne Vos for second place, Lotte Kopecky for third place, Rachele Barbieri for fourth place, Emma Norsgaard for fifth place, Maike van der Duin for sixth, Elisa Balsamo for seventh, Simone Boilard for eighth, Tamara Dronova for ninth, and lastly, Vittoria Guazzini for tenth place.
After the competition, Wiebes told local reporters, “It's amazing. The team did an amazing job. It was a really chaotic sprint and also a long sprint. I was quite relaxed before the start. We did everything as normal, we saw it as a normal race, but of course I was quite nervous towards the end. It was really close but luckily I could accelerate one more time and make it to the finish line."
While there had been variations of the women’s events over the years since 2009, the new eight-stage race is the first time since 1989 that it has officially been held and hosted by the men’s Tour de France organizers.
Several attacks failed to threaten the peloton along the opening 82km route. The route featured 12 laps of the Champs-Elysee circuit, which is seen in the men’s Tour de France and previously in three editions of La Course by Le Tour de France between 2014 and 2016.
French rider, Gladys Verhulst went clear inside the final 20km and established a lead of over 40 seconds, but as she was right before finishing, she was reeled in by the pelotons.
Vos, who won the first intermediate sprint, was supported well by her team in the closing stages and made a long dart for the finish line. However, Wiebes timed her final push to perfection and won the stage.
Vos, in an interview, told reporters, “My team did a perfect job. They kept me out of trouble. Everything went perfect. When Lorena opened her sprint there was nothing I can do. You can't blame yourself for doing nothing wrong. Lorena was perfect today and it was a deserved win.”
Now, the sprinters are going onto stage two which is another flat 136.4km route from Meaux to Provins.