Race report

Liane Lippert 2nd and into white jersey, Elise Uijen QOM in Romandie opener

Tour de Romandie Féminin

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.

Speaking after the stage Lippert said: “It was a bit of a strange start as it was a slower pace and not too many attacks, but we had Elise going full for the mountains jersey. She really took that opportunity well and it’s nice to see her in good shape. Then later on it got more aggressive with attacks and we were sharp to be there in the moves on the hills and cover everything with all of us; which made the bunch pretty small. Over the hill we wanted to be in the front so we were safe on the descent, which we did really well. Going onto the flat it was super fast and there were a lot of attacks, and we were all involved once again to cover them, but no move was really able to get away. In the last three kilometres we fully focused on me for the final and the girls set me up perfectly. Francesca did a really good job leading us out under the one kilometre to go banner until 500 metres to go where Floortje started the sprint up and that was perfect. I could sprint from her wheel and went all out but only Sierra was faster, and she’s the deserved winner. I think the second place was the maximum result possible today in the finish. We’re looking forward to the next two days!”

Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “It was a nice opening day here in Romandie for us. Everyone rode really well from the start and we were always sharp on things, with Elise riding strongly to take the QOM jersey. Going into the finale we wanted to see if a group would go clear and everyone rotated in the attacks well but it all came back together so we focused on Liane for the sprint. Once again the team did a really good job in the lead out and Liane sprinted to second with only Sierra faster. With the best young rider jersey, QOM jersey and best team on the stage – it’s definitely a good start to our time here in Romandie.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 SIERRA Arlenis Movistar Team 3:36:49 50
2 LIPPERT Liane Team DSM ,, 40
3 VOLLERING Demi Team SD Worx ,, 30