Johansson 8th in opening time trial at Boels Rental Ladies TourTue 2 Sep 2014
ORICA-AIS has opened the Boels Rental Ladies Tour with strong performances on the stage one individual time trial, Emma Johansson the top performer in eighth position.
Johansson, the Swedish champion, finished 35seconds behind stage winner Ellen Van Dijk (DLT) who stopped the clock at 13minutes 15seconds.
Sport director Gene Bates was pleased with the opening performances of the whole squad.
“To be honest the time gaps weren’t massive which in a Tour like this is pretty important,“ Bates said.
“There is a lot of time still to race and we are sitting in a really good position. Not only with Emma but with the other girls as well, we were all in the top 40 so we are really pleased with how we are sitting.”
Suiting the stronger riders, the 10.1km course saw average speeds of around 50kmph.
“It was a typical Dutch course, narrow roads, a few twisting corners and a couple of technical sections,” Bates said.
“It did suit Emma but really it was more suited to the likes of Ellen Van Dijk, your really big and powerful riders.”
Looking ahead to the stages to come, Bates said the team is expecting an exciting, action-packed Tour.
“I think the whole week is going to be a really stressful week,” Bates said.
“A lot of open narrow roads where wind is really going to play a bit part in what happens in the race.
“There are also time bonuses up for grabs in the stages and with not a huge amount of time between the top 15, I think we will see a lot of riders going for those intermediate sprints and trying to break up the race.”