The inaugural Tour de Romandie Feminin started with a hard hilly stage with start and finish in Lausanne. Katia Ragusa started this race strong with a day in the breakaway, while team mate Sabrina Stultiens ended just outside the top-10.
After only 8 kilometres the road went up in the first stage. Katia Ragusa was committed to show her good form and attacked immediately. The Italian rider was caught quickly, but then tried again and went on alone. After a few kilometres she was accompanied by Elena Hartmann. The duo took an advantage of two minutes forcing the peloton to chase. Just before the second last climb Ragusa and Hartmann were caught. After the stage Ragusa was chosen as most combative rider.
“I felt quite good today and tried my luck early in the stage. After my first attempt didn`t succeed I made the decision to try again and went alone. Eventually a Swiss rider caught up and together we built up a nice lead. After some accelerations in the peloton we were caught before the climb at 86 km. This breakaway was good for my morale and it was nice to get on the podium to receive the prize for most combative rider of the day”, Ragusa told after the stage.
In the remaining part of the stage there were several attacks, which meant the peloton was reduced till 26 riders. One of them was Sabrina Stultiens, who carried the flag for Liv Racing Xstra in the first peloton. In a sprint she just missed out on the top-10 finishing 11th, which still is a good start of this stage race.
Tomorrow the peloton starts in Sion for a stage over 104,5 kilometres with finish in Thyon 2000 after a climb of 20,5 kilometres.