From the moment she rolled off the ramp of the 2.4 km prologue Charlotte Kool was on a mission. The DSM-Firmenich rider finished a whopping four seconds ahead of Riejanne Markus (Jumbo-Visma) and Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx).
How it happened
- One of the last stage races on the women’s 2023 calendar starts with a very short 2.4 km prologue in Ede, Netherlands.
- Markus set the fastest time early in the race at 3:08:01, with an average speed of 45.95 km/h. It wasn’t until the eventual winner started almost 40 minutes later that her time was bested.
- SD Worx’s formidable three of Kopecky, Lorena Wiebes and Demi Vollering finished 3rd, 4th and 5th, respectively.
- I wish there was more to report but as you’d expect…not a ton going on in a 2.4 km race.
Brief results and GC into stage 1
Quote of the day
The guy interviewing Kool at the finish was as or more excited than the winner herself (she was pretty happy, so it’s saying something). First, he asked if she had realized what had happened, to which she said ‘yes’, next he asked if the goal had been to win.
I really wanted to win this prologue, I didn’t start to not win, this was the plan and that it happens is very special.Kool before the podium ceremony
- While it’s unlikely the Prologue time gaps will make much difference come stage 4, there are still some riders in the top 10 worth noting. Anna Henderson was seven seconds behind the winner and is coming off a fantastic performance at Worlds where she finished fourth in the ITT. Maike van der Duin, who crashed quite hard on the track in Glasgow so it’s good to see her in the top 10, finished seventh. The British national road champion Pfeiffer Georgi rounded out the top 10 eight seconds down.
- In ninth was Zoe Backstedt racing for Canyon-SRAM for the first time after transferring with immediate effect from EF Education-TIBCO-SVB last week. The Brit transferred before the new season in order to have everything dialled before the upcoming cyclocross season, where she is the reigning junior world champion.
- SD Worx may not have won the stage but they have three riders in the top five…which is pretty alright.
- Markus is perhaps the most threatening on GC with the stage 2 ITT in mind, however, the time trial is very short at 7.2 km.
Up next: Stage 1
The first road stage looks very much like a classic road stage. Since it’s the Netherlands, wind could come into play, however, Europe is facing a heat wave this week so it’s less likely the wind will come into play on Wednesday.
It’s a stage for Lorena Wiebes, but Kool and DSM-Firmenich will be all-in not only to keep the lead but also win the stage. Kool has clearly targeted this race, and Wiebes has been on good form for a while now, so it will be a fascinating sprint if it’s those two. There are some other sprinters who could get in the mix like Elisa Balsamo (Lidl-Trek) and Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ).
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