Lidl-Trek, winner of the first stage of La Vuelta Femenina 24 by ©️ Cxcling

2024 La Vuelta Femenina – Stage One Race Report

How the race finished

Lidl-Trek showed their strength to win the opening stage Team Time Trial despite a crash. The top three teams were all within one second of one another, but Visma | Lease a Bike had to settle for second, and SD Worx Protime for third. Gaia Realini (Lidl Trek) will wear the first red leader’s jersey of the race.

Full results are available below.

How it happened

La Vuelta Femenina 2024 got underway with a 16km team time trial in Valencia, on a relatively untechnical, flat out-and-back course tracing the shoreline. With 21 teams lining up, the big winner’s from last years Vuelta took to the roads towards the end of the day, ensuring a nail-biting first stage. 

The team with the honour of kicking off the Vuelta Feminina was Coop Repsol, who set the first finishing time marker at 20:48. Winspace was faster at the intermediate, but slotted into second at the finish line. Despite being on the coast, the wind didn’t appear to be causing too much stress for the teams, being largely headwind on the way out and a kinder tailwind on the way back.

EF Education Cannondale were the first of the major teams off the start ramp, looking for opportunities in the GC despite not being a World Tour Team and posting a time thirty seconds clear of the nearest team at the intermediate marker. As we waited for their time on the finish line, Lotto Dstny Ladies took the top spot, before Volkerwessels went faster again. As expected, EF Education Cannondale stormed across the finish line, some 52 seconds quicker than Volkerwessels.

As the faster teams continued to get underway, Liv Jayco AlUla posted an intermediate split of less than a second behind EF Education Cannondale. Ever a presence in the Team Time Trials, Liv Jayco AlUla looked to put GC contender Mavi Garcia in a fighting position going into the rest of the week. On the finish line the four riders still looked strong, coming across the line together – but still, heartbreakingly, that one second down on EF Education Cannondale. While eyes were on the faster teams out on the road, AG Insurance Soudal, Roland and Fenix Deceuninck all put together solid rides to slot into the finishing order without too much time lost. 

FDJ Suez looked a little ragged on the road, but had pace – coming through the intermediate split just one second ahead of EF Education Cannondale. Not long after them, last year’s winners Visma | Lease a Bike once again looked to be on fire, taking 12 seconds off the previous fastest intermediate split time. As Visma | Lease a Bike shed riders, FDJ Suez came into the finish line, powering through in the hopes of taking the lead, but coming up one second short. Visma | Lease a Bike had no concerns though, fanning across the road to take the lead by nine seconds.

Affected by illness, Canyon//Sram took to the start ramp with only five riders – a significant disadvantage in the team discipline where last year they finished second, within a whisker of the win. Surprisingly, they still managed to come through the intermediate split in second place, as they turned into the tailwind. Shortly afterward, Lidl Trek showed their power and intent to come through the same split point eight seconds up on Visma | Lease a Bike.

Dsm firmenich Post NL fell apart a little coming into the finish line, slipping back in the rankings compared to where their intermediate split would have placed them. At the intermediate, no team was faster than Lidl-Trek, with SD Worx Protime and Movistar slotting in on either side of dsm firmenich Post NL’s time, in fourth and sixth respectively.

An unfortunate crash in the final corner significantly affected Lidl Trek, with two of their riders hitting the deck. Luckily neither of the GC contenders were affected, and four riders were able to regroup and get across the finish line together in just under the time set by Visma Lease a Bike, taking the lead by a slender margin. 

The second to last team, SD Worx Protime, looked strong through the second half, keeping Niamh Fisher-Black and Demi Vollering protected. Coming into the finish line the clock was green, but they were just outside the time, slotting into third place at just 1 second in arrears. Movistar, the final team on the road, also had us on our seats – stopping the clock just twelve seconds down.

Full Stage One Results

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Photography ©️ Cxcling


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