The Simac Ladies Tour opened with an eventful stage. The peloton split into several groups during the stage. Liv Racing Xstra was very active and always in the front.
A lap of 60 kilometers with start and finish in Lelystad had to be covered 2,5 times by the peloton in the opening stage. Due to the wind the peloton got very nervous. Echelons were inevitable and with 23 kilometres the peloton split for the first time. Liv Racing Xstra took command in the first group with five riders and kept a high tempo. After 40 kilometres the first and second echelon came back together.
Still the peloton stayed nervous which caused some crashes and some new splits in the bunch. A group of 21 riders ended up in the front. Jeanne Korevaar, Alison Jackson, Silke Smulders and Eva Buurman were in that group, which battled for the stage win. In a thrilling final several riders tried their luck. Smulders was very active and neutralized a late attack of Chantal van den Broek – Blaak. In the sprint Jackson just missed the podium and finished fourth.
“We were very strong as team today. Early in the stage we were with five riders in the front group and we took the initiative. Eventually the groups came back together. After a crash the peloton split again. In the final we really raced to win the stage, because when you go to the finish with Lorena you are beaten for the stage win. Unfortunately none of our attempts was successful. In the sprint Alison just missed the podium. I think we had a good start of this race and it gives confidence for the next stages”, Smulders commented after the race.