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Despite crash Lidl-Trek wins Vuelta España Femenina’s opening team time trial

Despite crash Lidl-Trek wins Vuelta España Femenina's opening team time trial

Although a crash disrupted their run-in to the finish line, Lidl-Trek claimed Sunday’s team time trial opener of the Vuelta España Femenina in Valencia. Italian Gaia Realini pulled on the first red leader’s jersey. The first Grand Tour of the 2024 UCI Women’s WorldTour and 10th edition of the race is eight stages in length, one more than last season’s.

Last year, Annemiek van Vleuten prevailed over Demi Vollering on the GC by a mere nine seconds, with Canada’s Olivia Baril 19th. Visma-Lease a Bike was the fastest team in the opening team time trial.

Van Vleuten is spent after her epic throwdown with Vollering on the mighty Covadonga.

The Course
Slightly longer than last year’s team time trial, the squads faced 16 km around Valencia, with an intermediate time check at the 8-km mark.

The Canadian contingent was Baril, Maggie Coles-Lyster of Roland, a trio from EF Education-Cannondale consisting of Alison Jackson, Clara Emond and Magdeleine Vallieres, and Adèle Normand of Eneicat-CMTeam.

Normand’s team was the fourth down the start ramp.

Normand (175) out on the road with Eneicat-CMTeam.

The EF Education-Cannondale septet was the seventh to launch.

EF Education-Cannondale in the start house.

After six teams finished, VolkerWessels owned the best time with 20:21, but EF Education beat that by 52 seconds. Liv-AlUla-Jayco was a single second off the Pink Armada’s mark.

Last year’s team chrono winner Visma-Lease a Bike cracked the best intermediate time with 10:52 before taking over the top spot after stopping the clock at 19:20, nine seconds quicker than EF Education-Cannondale.

Lidl-Trek knocked Visma’s best intermediate time off the top with 10:44. A crash in the final corner by the third and fourth riders disrupted their run in, but they still edged Visma by 0.02 seconds.

EF Education-Cannondale ended up fifth.

Monday’s 118-km stage contains a single Cat. 3 climb cresting 38 km from the finish in Moncófar and should be one for the sprinters.

2024 Vuelta España…

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