Race report

Team Sunweb and Lorena Wiebes power to opening stage victory at Madrid Challenge

Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta

Photo Credit: Baixauli Studio

Team Sunweb continued their successful 2020 season today, with their Women’s program claiming victory on the opening stage at the Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, with Lorena Wiebes powering across the line in first place.

Today’s opening stage at the Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta took place on a mostly flat parcours, albeit with a few rolling climbs scattered throughout the 80 kilometre course. Strong winds made for a nervous day in the saddle as the threat of echelons always loomed over the peloton, but Team Sunweb were attentive throughout the race, alway ensuring they were towards the front of the bunch to make any splits.

Despite a few solo attacks, the race was all together as the peloton charged towards the finale, with the team doing a great job to position sprinter Lorena Wiebes for the finale. Coming into the uphill kick to the line, Wiebes produced her trademark powerful kick on the testing ramp. Raising her arms aloft to celebrate, Wiebes claimed her third race win since joining the team, and Team Sunweb Women program’s fifth of the year – a great reward for a strong team effort on the stage.

Winning the opening stage means that Wiebes moves into the race lead and will be the last rider to leave the start house in tomorrow’s nine kilometre individual time trial.

“Today was a fast race and the second half was both headwind and crosswind, which made it nervous,” explained a delighted Wiebes after the stage. “The team did an amazing job to keep me out of the wind all the time and we had lots of cards to play today depending on how the race went. In the end, it ended up in a bunch sprint and we were all there in the final where we all did our best to keep me in a good position towards the climb. It was a really hard finale and I’m happy that I could finish it off in a good way with the win today.”

Team Sunweb coach Nicolas Marche added: “It’s a nice stage for us and in general the girls did a really good job, sticking to the plan and committing fully to go with Lorena in the sprint. They were super sharp all day, communicating well and were always present in the crosswinds. We can be really happy with the win but there are still things that we can improve on in the lead out as it was not as perfect as we had planned so there are some things we can be even better at on Sunday. It’s a great start to the race though, and we can be really happy with today and we’re hoping for more good results in the coming stages.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 WIEBES Lorena Team Sunweb 2:00:16 50
2 BALSAMO Elisa Valcar - Travel & Service ,, 40
3 BRENNAUER Lisa Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling ,, 30