Team Visma | Lease a Bike Women complete first stage of Santos Tour Down Under unscathed

Team Visma | Lease a Bike Women complete first stage of Santos Tour Down Under unscathed

Team Visma | Lease a Bike Women has finished the first stage of the Santos Tour Down Under unscathed. In sweltering conditions, the team of Rutger Tijssen and new sports director Jos van Emden crossed the line safely. Ally Wollaston won the first stage in Australia.

With temperatures approaching forty degrees Celsius in Hahndorf, the riders set off for the first competitive road kilometres of the new year. It soon became clear that the opening stage of the three-day stage race would end in a bunch sprint. The Dutch team had insisted on this before the race, as Van Emden explained afterwards.

"We had a plan to make it a sprint today. That was the first task we gave the ladies this morning. We managed that in the end. The team made it to the final sprint. We can build on that”, the satisfied sports director said.

Things were going well for Team Visma | Lease a Bike Women until two kilometres from the finish. But then the sprint train derailed, and Lieke Nooijen finished fifteenth behind winner Wollaston. "I'm still happy with today”, Van Emden said. "It's the first race of the year for everyone, and you can't expect the sprint train to be perfectly coordinated. We will make sure that we continue to get that right. I saw some good things today.”

"I saw some good things today, it tastes like more"

Jos van Emden

After sixteen years with the yellow and black team, it was the first time Van Emden was not on his bike at the start but behind the wheel of the sporting director's car. "It's completely different, isn't it?" was the first reaction of the new women's team sports director when asked about it. "But I like it. It tastes like more.”

Van Emden is already looking forward to the final two days of the Santos Tour Down Under and knows what the women can expect. "There will be no more sprint stages in the next few days. Some riders will be given a free role. Hopefully, we can follow the attacks and keep up on the climbs.”


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