Wild Wins Stage 1 of Energiewacht Tour
Kirsten Wild earlier this afternoon sprinted to victory in stage 1 of this year's Energiewacht Tour, thereby repeating her stage one victory from last year's race. Wild crossed the finish line ahead of Boels-Dolmans' Elizabeth Armitstead and Jolien D'Hoore of Lotto-Belisol.
Wild profited from strong, dominant teamwork which put all six Giant-Shimano riders in the lead group after the peloton was splintered to pieces in the heavy crosswinds that dominated the 93 kilometer stage, which took place around the city of Delfzijl in the coastal region of the Netherlands.
Giant-Shimano eventually lost Julia Soek to a crash but their remaining quintet managed to keep the race under control and delivered Wild in perfect fashion for her to take her seventh race victory so far this season.
“Today was a good day and the whole team were strong, worked well together and in the end we got the result we deserved,” Wild explained to Roadcycling.com after being celebrated on the podium and added “The race split up several times, but we were always at the front communicating and staying in control."
“There were four finishing circuits and it was full gas for the first three, but then on the last one it calmed down and I was confident for the sprint. Claudia Häusler lead it out and then Amy Pieters rode to the final corner. After that I had just under 300 meters to go to the line, which was perfect for me."
“It wasn’t easy but I felt good and the team were strong, which is a good sign for the rest of this race.”
"I consider myself fast, but not really as fast as one of the top sprinters. Against Kirsten Wild I am normally no match, though you should always try. Most important for me was to not allow Wild to get too big an advantage in the general classification and this worked well with the second place finish and bonuses," second place finisher Armitstead said after the stage.
"We hope our team will be dominant in the team time trial to come. On Friday we conducted bike measurement tests with Specialized to ensure we sit perfectly on our bikes, so now it is up to us to make it all come true. Until the team time trial we need to stay sharp and minimize any gaps so we are in a position that we can take advantage of," Armitstead concluded.