Marianne Vos proved she is in strong shape coming into the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche by jumping quickly to the lead after the first 126km stage aboard her Liv Langma Advanced SL. From Saint-Paul-Le-Jeune, the course began with undulating terrain until, at 41km the road pointed up for the day’s main climb. The peloton raced up 673m over 14km, a feat which brought the lead group down to just 25 riders. Along with Vos, Jeanne Korevaar had also held on at the front of the pack. After the final intermediate sprint, Vos unleashed a counterattack to catch an earlier breakaway attempt. With just 2km to go, she accelerated again, dropping the competition and riding solo to the finish.
“This is incredibly strong from Marianne,” said sports director Jeroen Blijlevens. “She has just completed a seventeen-day high altitude training and went straight from Livigno to the Ardèche. It’s amazing that she shows this immediately in the first stage. We can also be very proud of the performance of Jeanne Korevaar. She could easily follow when the peloton broke and looked strong.”
With World Championships in Yorkshire, England approaching, the Tour of the Ardèche provides the team a final opportunity to grab some stage wins while building for an optimal performance at Worlds.