Simac Ladies Tour stage 1 report: Elisa Balsamo steals victory from Wiebes

Charlotte Kool finished third and retained her GC lead by only two seconds.

Elisa Balsamo bests Lorena Wiebes in the final sprint at the Simac Ladies Tour, stage 1.

The first road stage of the Simac Ladies Tour ended in a massive upset to Dutch sprinting as Elisa Balsamo snatched victory from Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) and Charlotte Kool (DSM-Firmenich). With the seconds she secured in the opening prologue and bonus seconds on the line, Kool was able to hold onto her overall lead, but only by two seconds ahead of Balsamo.

How it happened

Kopecky leading Wiebes into the final corner

Brief stage results


GC standings after Stage 1


Balsamo’s perfectly timed sprint

Quote of the day

It was a beautiful work of teamwork to get Balsamo into perfect position to best the two top sprinters in the women’s peloton. The UCI’s Best Young Rider could be seen setting the pace into the final kilometre, but it was longtime friend of Balsamo Sanguineti who delivered the former world champion to the line.

My teammates were unbelievable so I am extremely happy. I just want to say thank you to all of them. It was an amazing leadout, especially [Sanguineti]. It was a really hard season for me coming back from a bad crash so to win again is just unbelievable.

Balsamo after the victory
Celebrations in the Lidl-Trek camp

Brief analysis

Up next: Stage 2 ITT

The peloton heads to Belgium for the second stage, a short time trial that will take place in Leuven, where Balsamo won her elite road title over Marianne Vos. It is a “home town” ish race for the current world champion Kopecky, the first WorldTour race when the Belgian woman is wearing her rainbow bands.

The course is one for the ITT specialists, and to get a good idea of who will succeed take a peak at the prologue results. Track riders will be salivating at an opportunity to take a stage, but it’s Riejanne Markus who will truly be the one to watch out for. The Dutch ITT champion was second behind Kool in the opening prologue. Annemiek van Vleuten will also give the stage her best shot, the last time trial of her lengthy and glorious career.

The stage can be watched live on GCN+ at 12:30 CEST.

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