Rowney races into fourth place on the opening stage of Boels Rental Ladies Tour

Tue 30 Aug 2016

Stage one of the six-day Boels Rental Ladies Tour concluded with a bunch sprint where Loren Rowney displayed her sprinting legs, just missing out on a podium spot to finish in a respectable fourth place.

The 103kilometre stage was animated by a breakaway of two riders, Minke van Dongen (SwaboLadies) and Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv), who rapidly rode out to a five minute advantage.

However, once the peloton began the chase the duo were brought back quickly ahead of a bunch sprint won by Amalie Diderikse (Boels-Dolmans).

Sport director Gene Bates was pleased with Rowney’s performance in what was a fast, technical finish on day one.

“There were probably ten corners in the last three kilometres so it was a very technical finish,” explained Bates. “We saw the course beforehand so we knew what to expect and we knew we just had to be in the best position possible out of the last corner.”

“I think Rowney came out of the final right hand corner in fourth or fifth position and pretty much that’s how they all came across the line. There just wasn’t enough time to get up and get going again out of that corner.”

ORICA-AIS kept themselves out of trouble throughout the stage with the interest of a bunch sprint in mind. The team sent Australian champion Amanda Spratt to the fore to contribute to the chase in the closing kilometres.

“The girls rode well today, the plan was just to lay low and look after Rowney for the sprint,” continued Bates. “I think they did a good job with that."

"Once the breakaway went out to five minutes we contributed to the chase by putting Spratt up at the front.

“It was a really positive start to the tour for us, we have three fast girls here with Grace Elvin, Sarah Roy and Rowney, so it is a good position to be in to see how everyone is going.”

How it happened:

The final stage race of the 2016 season kicked off in Tiel, Holland with a 103kilometre flat opening stage. Under bright blue skies the elite peloton set off for the evening stage. 

With many big named riders and teams on the start list, the competitive field began racing aggressively and within the first hour of racing one rider attacked and led the race solo riding out to a two minute advantage.

As the peloton gradually picked up the pace the solo rider dangled out front for a number of kilometres before being slowly drawn back in.

Almost immediately after another rider tried their chances and opened up an impressive lead. Hot on the tail of the escapee Van Dongen, was Niewiadoma who eventually bridged across and the duo then rapidly increased their lead over the stalling peloton.

The time gap continued to increase out to five minutes with 40kilometres to go and as day one of the six-day tour, the teams appeared happy with the situation and left the duo out front to dangle. 

ORICA-AIS remained within the main bunch as the kilometres ticked down and eventually the peloton began the chase led by Boels-Dolmans.

The time gap dropped and with just 10kilometres to go the escapees were swallowed up by the peloton and a fast bunch sprint concluded stage one.

Rowney sprinted into fourth place and consequently moves in to fourth place overall as teams face a 26kilometre team time trial tomorrow which is likely to shake up the overall classification.

Boels Rental Ladies Tour stage 1 results:

1. Amalie Diderikse (Boels-Dolmans) 2:36:35
2. Sara Mustonen (Liv-Plantur) ST
3. Barbara Guarischi (Canyon-Sram) ST
4. Loren Rowney (ORICA-AIS) ST

General classification after stage 1:

1. Amalie Diderikse (Boels-Dolmans) 2:36:25
2. Sara Mustonen (Liv-Plantur) +0:04
3. Barbara Guarischi (Canyon-Sram) +0:06
4. Loren Rowney (ORICA-AIS) +0:10