Alex Manly won the opening stage of the Lotto Ladies Tour with a strong sprint finish to catch a lone soloist and deliver a statement of intent.
The Australian caught Mischa Bredewold with just metres to go to the finish line of the 101.8km stage, and secure the team’s first win on European soil this season.
Aided by a strong team support in the final kilometres to chase down the leader, Manly finished off some superb work from team-mates Teniel Campbell, AriannaFidanza, RubyRoseman-Gannon and Georgia Baker to take the first UCI road race win of her career.
Roseman-Gannon also finished inside the top 10, as Manly took the lead of the GC with the stage victory.
“With 4km Teniel and Arianna went as hard as they could and spent all their energy just for me.
Then Ruby actually swapped roles – today she was going to sprint – but she decided I was doing good and she committed for me, probably earlier than she’d wanted to because we still had another 50 metres on the rider in front.
I wouldn’t have won without the team today. They were incredible. We have a really strong team with us. It was really hard on the climbs today, but it worked out well, we had numbers in the front and we’re really happy with the result.”
Andrew Smith (Sport Director):
“We had a clear objective at the start of the day, to go in with Ruby, to try and win the stage and take some bonus seconds too with an eye on the GC later in the week.
Unfortunately there was a crash in the group and a few of our riders went down, and Ruby wasn’t feeling great, so they decided to switch roles and Alex was in a good position and in great condition and managed to take the win.
Unfortunately we lost Jess Allen. This was a super team effort today and she had a big part to play in this, so we’re sad about that. We’ll see what we can do with the rest of the week.”
2022 Lotto Ladies Tour, Stage 1 – Results:
1. Alex Manly (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 2:32:27
2. Femke Markus +0:01
3. Silvia Zanardi +0:01
Photo credit: Arne Mill / Lotto Ladies Tour