Kooij ninth on first stage ZLM Tour
Surprisingly, the first bunch sprint of the ZLM Tour did not take place. Olav Ko...
Team Jumbo-Visma Women did well in the first stage of the RideLondon Classique. The Dutch squad rode an aggressive race with two riders in the decisive lead group, Teuntje Beekhuis and Noemi Rüegg. Both Beekhuis and Rüegg finished in the top ten.
The peloton set off from Saffron Walden to Colchester for a hilly 150-kilometre ride. Early on, two riders broke away, and a third rider soon after joined them. The trio built up a lead of up to three minutes but were caught with less than 50 kilometres to go.
This proved to be the start of an explosive final. Carlijn Achtereekte and Teuntje Beekhuis, among others, tried to make a move, but got no space. Moments later, 15 riders escaped after the Castle Hill climb. Beekhuis and Rüegg were among them and showed a willingness to attack.
"We had the plan to ride aggressively, and they executed it well"
Rüegg ultimately attempted to escape in the final kilometres but failed with four kilometres to go. A sprint ensued, which was won by Charlotte Kool. "We had the plan to ride aggressively, and they executed it well", race coach Lieselot Decroix said.
"Noemi and Teuntje were in a strong lead group, and they made the most of it. A day like today gives the riders the confidence to attack and learn how to ride in a lead group. It's good that the young riders are brave enough to do it."
Decroix predicts another challenging stage tomorrow with a tough finish. "We will try to make it a hard race again. We don't have any fast sprinters in the team, so we'll have to ride an active race."