Performance Director Rachel Heal briefly recapped the action from stage one of the Tour Cycliste Feminin International de l’Ardeche:
With just one category 3 climb, stage 1 of Ardeche is the flattest of the race and ended in the predicted bunch sprint. We were well represented during the stage with Leah scoring points in the intermediate sprints and Jade in the mountains, and Lauren sprinting to a top 10. All 6 riders finished ahead of a split in the pack and we’re well positioned heading into tomorrow’s doubleheader of racing, consisting of a short hilly TT in the morning and a hilly road stage in the afternoon.
The women also currently sit on top of the team classification, which earned them some podium time together in France. US Road Race champion Jade Wilcoxson reported on the previous evening’s race and the first half of today’s doubleheader, a 3.5 km. time trial.
Stage 1 yesterday was a sprint finish, fast and dangerous. We had a great leadout going, but started it too early in order to keep everyone safe and strung out. In the end we got swarmed and Lauren got 8th. I got pipped at the line for the climbers jersey at the GPM.
Today is a double day with a 3.5k TT in the morning. I got 5th, half a second from the podium. That hurts. Again. But it moved me up to 3rd on GC with Joelle, Lauren and Leah not too far back in 10th, 11th and 12th. We are leading the team GC and got some podium time for that today. Rach has pics.
Now we’re napping on park benches waiting for the road race this afternoon. Its 77k with 3GPMs. I’m still going for the climber jersey I think which will be difficult as my computer fell off during the TT and was never found. I hate not knowing the mileage.
I’m sure GC will mix up as the climbs get more difficult with each stage. But we’ll see if we can hold on. We’ve been so damn close to the podium each day!!