How the Race Finished
After a month off from racing, Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) made winning look easy. She comfortably won the sprint in the first stage of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas, ahead of Tereza Neumanova (Liv Racing Xstra) in second place, and Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) in third.
The Main Action
At the beginning of the day, a breakaway was fairly easily let go: Andrea Ramirez (Massi-Tactic), Lara Vieceli (Ceratizit-WNT) and Matilde Vitile (BePink). Vieceli took the only Queen of the Mountains points of the day, securing the mountains jersey for tomorrow. Behind them, the peloton was calm and steady, expecting a sprint at the end of the day.
With 40km to go, the breakaway was on the verge of being caught, but Ramirez attacked from it, quickly regaining a lead of forty seconds. Despite an impressive effort, she was caught with 32km to go.
With 30km to go, the threat of crosswinds loomed. The landscape opened up and, after headwind had slowed the race down all day, there were suddenly teams keen to cause some disruption. With 27km to go, with Trek-Segafredo pushing hard on the front, a split was forced; notably, Pauliena Rooijakkers, second in the GC of Itzulia Woman, was caught in the second group, about thirty seconds behind.
The danger was partly averted: with the help of Amialiusik, who dropped back from the first group, Rooijakkers bridged across to the first group, with 20km to go. However, Trek-Segafredo continued to push ahead, and, with the speed rising as they approached the expected sprint finish, Rooijakkers dropped again, and had to be shepherded back again by Amialiusik.
The final strait had a slight uphill drag. DSM and Trek-Segafredo were present on the front as they swung around the final corner, but the organisation collapsed. Tereza Neumanova (Liv Racing Xstra) opened up the sprint, but it was Kopecky, in the resplendent colours of the WWT leader’s jersey, who emerged from the centre, swung left, and powered through to the line. No-one else could get close.
With her victory, Kopecky now leads the GC and the points competition. Lara Vieceli (Ceratizit-WNT) leads the mountains competition, after her day in the breakaway. Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) leads the youth competition, after her third place in the sprint.
Tamara Dronova, in 4th place, took Roland Cogeas Edelweiss’ best result so far; the team is a new addition to the WWT this year. Despite having most of their team at the front of the peloton for the final kilometres – perhaps out of a desire to avoid losing their leader again in any crosswind-caused splits – the best Canyon//SRAM could do was fifth, with Soraya Paladin, though they now lead the team classification. DSM and Trek-Segafredo had done the most obvious work in the approach to the sprint, but Floortje Mackaij and Amalie Dideriksen could only take sixth and eighth respectively.