Henttala Takes Opening Stage

With an emphatic fist pump, Finnish rider Lotta Henttala of Team EF Pro Cycling, crossed the finish line at the Vuelta a Burgos ahead of her rivals to win the opening stage from a bunch sprint.

The squad worked together throughout the wind and rain on the 123-kilometre stage.

“There were some crosswinds today and I had a lot of help from my teammates, especially Nina,” Lotta said after her triumph. “In the last ten kilometres, she kept me calm so I just wanted to stick to her wheel. She dropped me off at the front for the last little kickers and Noemi and Letizia were there also helping me out on the front. I knew it was still a super long way to go to the finish so I stuck to the plan. There was that unfortunate crash, so I hope everyone is OK, but when that happened, I decided to go then. I didn’t want to be on the ground. Then I was just hoping. It was quite a long sprint. I don’t know if it was actually a long sprint but it felt like it! I’m happy to have finished first.”

Lotta came to the Spanish stage race after several weeks of focused training.

“I had quite a good training block the last two months and I could feel it on the climbs that I could spin my legs a little bit. I was not on the limit all the time so I thought, ‘OK, maybe I have something left for the sprint’ and I went full gas for it,” Lotta said.

Sport director Daniel Foder noted the team’s commitment to one another and to the day’s tactics. “The plan was to go for Lotta. Yesterday we discussed several different ways of how to do it and in the end, the riders came up with a strategy that they believed in. It’s just super to see they were committed and they did it. They were really committed to helping Lotta in that sprint. They got the reward for it today!”

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