Lotta Lepistö (Trek-Segafredo) sprinted to the win of stage one at the Healthy Ageing Tour, benefiting from a leadout from teammate Ellen van Dijk and successfully avoiding a crash in the last corner that disrupted the ending.
Lepistö: “Ellen helped me in the last kilometre to stay near the front and big thanks to her. I had to close a gap to Amy Pieters in the last corner, and then two riders tried to go over me and crashed, but I had a good line still so I could sprint to the finish. It was a hectic sprint even though we were only 14 riders! I am happy – It was nice to win today.”
Stage one of the Healthy Ageing Tour opened with an aggressive stage in windy conditions, splitting the peloton and ultimately resulting in a breakaway of 14 riders moving clear with around 45 kilometres to go that included Ellen van Dijk and Lotta Lepistö.
With all the big teams represented, the leading group built a lead that was never threatened, perfect for Trek-Segafredo eyeing both the general classification with van Dijk and the stage win with Lepistö.
The race was full-on for the last tight corner ahead of the finish line, resulting in a crash. Fortunately, Lepistö kept a smart line and was able to get around the downed rider and easily sprinted across the line first.
“I am super happy, we just finished the hard Classics in Belgium, and I didn’t have the best legs there, but now I feel my legs have returned again,” continued Lepistö. “It was windy, a little bit cold, and a lot of echelons today that broke the peloton already after 50kms. I knew that Kirsten Wild and Jolien D’Hoore were there, very good and fast sprinters, and we are always fighting in the finales, but I just focused on my sprint, and it went perfectly. It’s a good start to the week!”