Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Energiewacht Stage 1 report and results

Stage 1 - click to enlarge
(image credit: Energiwacht Tour)
Energiewacht Tour Stage 1
For 2012, the women's Energiewacht Tour has grown to five days - a promising sign in these times when so many races are disappearing for lack of sponsorship or, worse, interest. There's not much in the way of hills in this part of the world (in fact, at a few points along the way the riders will be below sea level), which makes some people think it won't be an interesting race; however, that couldn't be further from the truth - flat stages such as these promote breakaways and attacks, leading to a fast and furious sort of race.

Kristin Armstrong
(image credit: Rob Nelson CC BY-SA 2.0)
Stage 1 proved this to be very much the case as riders set new best times, other riders smashed them and the process repeated itself time and time again. Clara Hughes (Specialized-Lululemon) set the benchmark at 19'52" early on in the 15.1km individual time trial  and remained the fastest for some time. Alexis Rhodes (GreenEDGE) made a lightning fast start and looked set to smash it, but she slowed after passing through Garrelsweer and left Hughes' time intact. It took no less a rider than Olympic Champion Kristin Armstrong (USA) to finally top it, which earned her first place for the stage - and the fact current TT World Champion Judith Arndt (GreenEdge), last year's winner Adrie Visser (Skil-Argos) and Marianne Vos all finished with slower times shows just how much of an effort she put in. (See the podium here)

Top 6
  1.  Kristin Armstrong USA 19'42"
  2.  Clara Hughes Specialized-Lululemon +10"
  3.  Marianne Vos Rabobank +13"
  4.  Ina Yoko Teutenberg Specialized-Lululemon +45"
  5.  Ellen Van Dijk Specialized-Lululemon ST
  6.  Judith Arndt GreenEDGE ST

Stage 1 start

 Full results (when available) hereThere's an up-to-date start list here and the route details are here. @Ewachttour have a selection of photographs of the race and its surroundings here.

Local TV RTL7 is broadcasting a short highlights show daily, today's being at 16:45 BST (+1 hour for local time/CEST) - it's also available online here (Silverlight required). Follow @ewachttour for regular updates.

Stage 1 / 2 / 3 / 4a-4b / 5 / Guide / Video Vault

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