Photo Credit: Tour de Romandie Féminin
The opening day of racing at the brand new Tour de Romandie Féminin saw the peloton take on a testing and hilly parcours; with the road constantly undulating for the majority of the stage before a flatter finale. It was a steady start to the day an no group established itself at the head of the race in the early stages, while Elise Uijen rode brilliantly to take points in the opening two QOM climbs.
Soon after one lone leader, Ragusa hit out, and built up a large advantage of roughly three minutes while behind Uijen took more points on the following climbs. Heading into the last 60 kilometres the pace was upped and Ragusa was caught, alongside another breakaway companion, before Uijen struck out on the fourth ascent to take the maximum points there and guarantee to be in the QOM jersey at the end of the day.
Leading onto the final ascent, Uijen positioned the rest of the team brilliantly and the attacks started at the head of the race. The team reacted and made sure to be in every move over the crest, down the descent and onto the valley below. Francesca Barale, Juliette Labous, Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij all rotated through the following attacks but no group was able to stick, with the peloton always reeling them in. Labous was part of the final attacking move which was caught inside two kilometres to go and from there the team looked to set up Lippert from the sprint.
Barale kept the speed up before handing over to Mackaij who led the bunch through the final turn, before releasing Lippert in sight of the line. Lippert kicked and managed to out-sprint all but one rider, with Sierra finishing just ahead of her on the day. Second on the stage sees Lippert take the same place in the overall standings, while also moving into the lead of the best young rider classification – while Uijen will wear the QOM jersey tomorrow as the leader of that competition.