Rabobank-Liv put on an impressive display of dominance on the opening stage of the Emakueen Euskal Bira. The Dutch outfit put four riders in the top five, including occupying all three spots on the podium. Pauline Ferrand Prevot took the stage win and the yellow leader’s jersey ahead of teammates Anna van der Breggen and Marianne Vos. The trio came the line exactly one minute ahead of a chase group led home by Lizzie Armitstead (Boels – Dolmans).
Emma Johansson was the top finisher for ORICA-AIS, slotting into 16th place at 2’09. The Swede uncharacteristically missed out on the decisive selection only to later realise that she suffered from a slow puncture. After a quick bike change, she joined forces with Shara Gillow to give chase, but the winning move was long gone. With Johansson’s hopes of repeating the overall win diminished, the Australian outfit will chase stage wins for the remainder of the Basque tour.
"We’re a little disappointed and a little frustrated. It’s hard not to think of all the various “what if” scenarios? What if Emma had picked up on the slow leak sooner? What if she hadn’t punctured? What if she had punctured before the climb?
"With that said, the race isn’t over. We’re not a team that lies down and licks our wounds. We’re going to come out swinging. The overall might be difficult with Rabobank having such a strong hold on the top three, but I know the girls will be keen to come out and have a really good ride tomorrow." - Sport Director Gene Bates
|1||Pauline Ferrand (Fra) - Rabobank-Liv||2:18:31|
|2||Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) - Rabobank-Liv||ST|
|3||Marianne Vos (Ned) - Rabobank-Liv||ST|
|4||Elizabeth Armistead (Gbr) - Boels-Dolmans||0:01:00|
|5||Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) - Rabobank-Liv||ST|
|6||Rossella Ratto (Ita) - Estado de Mexico-Faren||ST|
|7||Claudia Häusler (Ger) - Giant-Shimano||ST|
|8||Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) - Hitec Products||ST|
|9||Fabiana Luperini (Ita) - Estado de Mexico-Faren||ST|
|10||Megan Guarnier (USA) - Boels-Dolmans||ST|
|16||Emma Johansson (Swe) - ORICA-AIS||0:02:09|
|21||Amanda Spratt (Aus) - ORICA-AIS||0:02:47|
|27||Shara Gillow (Aus) - ORICA-AIS||ST|
|43||Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) - ORICA-AIS||0:05:47|
|59||Valentina Scandolara (Ita) - ORICA-AIS||0:07:39|