Van Vleuten unbeatable in the opening prologue at the Boels Ladies Tour

Tue 28 Aug 2018

World time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten has continued her dominating season by taking the victory in the opening prologue at the Boels Ladies Tour today in Arnhem.

Wearing her rainbow bands, the 35-year-old blasted around the short 3.3km flat course to finish with a phenomenal time of four minutes 22seconds, seven seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans).

The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider will take the race leader's jersey into day two, which is a hilly road stage around her home training area.

Mitchelton-SCOTT as early leaders

Mitchelton-SCOTT sprinter and track star Jolien D'hoore set the fastest time in the early stages with a time of four minutes and 36seconds before being knocked out of the hot seat shortly after by teammate Sarah Roy, who crossed the line two seconds faster.

Mid-way through proceedings of the short event, Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb), posted a time of four minutes and 31seconds to push the Mitchelton-SCOTT riders off the top step.

Final few decide the podium

As many of the favourites crossed the line, nobody could quite beat Kirchmann's time as she remained as the race leader until the final three riders to start.

It was European TT champion Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb) who finally beat Kirchmann's time by one second, however that didn't last long, as van der Breggen posted a time of four minutes 29seconds.

Van Vleuten, the final rider to finish, crossed the line to take another convincing victory in the event after also winning the opening prologue in last year's race. Today's well deserved win is her eighth UCI victory of the 2018 season. 

Annemiek van Vleuten

"When you pass the finish line in a prologue it always hurts like crazy and it never feels like you did a good job. I tried to go out of the saddle in the last 200metres but I felt like I could almost not pedal anymore. My legs were completely full with lactic acid so I knew that I didn't leave anything out there.

"Then they told me I won by seven seconds, so that was a big surprise. Last year I won the prologue in my home town by five seconds in five kilometres, so now to win in three kilometres with seven seconds is surprising.

"It was super cool to win here in my rainbow jersey, almost in my backyard. It is so cool to show off the rainbow stripes with a win.

"Gene Bates (sport director) told me I didn't take time in the corners but on the straight parts, so that is nice for me to know that I have some power and it gives me confidence for this tour but also going into the world championships.

"All the team did very well, so it is nice to see all the training we have done on the time trial bikes is paying off. We have a lot of confidence now and everybody is in good shape."

Boels Ladies Tour stage 1 prologue results:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 4:22
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) 4:29
3. Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb) 4:30

General classification after stage 1:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 4:22
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) +0:07
3. Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb) +0:08

Photos courtesy of Getty Images