Van Vleuten victorious in her home town on day one of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour

Tue 29 Aug 2017

Dutch time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten stormed to victory today in the opening prologue of the WorldTour race, the Boels Rental Ladies Tour.

The 34-year-old was highly motivated for the 4.3kilometre race against the clock, with it being one of her speciality events and taking place in her home town, Wageningen.

Setting off in the early stages, van Vleuten was cheered around the course by the crowds to stop the clock with a phenomenal time of five minutes and 47seconds to move into the hot seat.

She waited as the race leader for the entire event with only two other riders, Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) and Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-Sram), coming close to her time and able to slip under the five minute mark. Fortunately for van Vleuten her time remained the fastest and she claimed another victory of the season and takes the overall race lead going into stage two.

“To be able to win in your home town is really great,” said Van Vleuten. “I felt some pressure so to come away with the win is really nice. I heard my name cheered a lot around the course, it is my home town so it is very special.”

“I know these roads but I obviously never ride this fast around here, only one hour before the start with the closed roads.

“I went full gas on the straight parts and didn’t take big risks on the corners. They were a little bit dangerous so I don’t think anybody did because the world championships is the next goal to be there in top shape.”

With five stages to come, including one more individual time trial, van Vleuten and ORICA-SCOTT are well prepared and motivated for a tough, hard week of racing. 

“I think the two stages at the end of the week will be really interesting and there you can make some differences if you’re in really good shape,” van Vleuten continued. “We have a really good team here and I am really pleased about that, I have the strongest team I could have so we will just go for it this week.”

How it happened:

The crowds welcomed ORICA-SCOTT and home town rider van Vleuten to the start of the six-day tour under blue skies and soaring hot temperatures.

The event got under way with the race favourite van Vleuten the second rider to start from ORICA-SCOTT allowing her to set the bench mark in the early stages of the event.

With over half of the field still left to finish, van Vleuten waited patiently but it appeared nobody could quite make close to her time after her impressive average speed of 44.6kilometres per hour.

In the end, two former world time trial champions came close, the only other riders able to dip under five minutes, with Van Dijk crossing the line as her nearest rival with a time five seconds adrift.

Boels Rental Ladies Tour stage 1 prologue results:

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (ORICA-SCOTT) 5:47
2. Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) +0:05
3. Lisa Brennauer (Canyon Sram) +0:11

General classification after stage 1:

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (ORICA-SCOTT) 5:47
2. Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) +0:05
3. Lisa Brennauer (Canyon Sram) +0:11

Photo courtesy of TDWsport.