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Organisers apologise after troubled start to Energiewacht Tour

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Van Vleuten (Rabo Women) and Visser (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) discuss the issues after the stage

Van Vleuten (Rabo Women) and Visser (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) discuss the issues after the stage
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Visser (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) voices her concerns with the day's events that include numerous disruptions to the race

Visser (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) voices her concerns with the day's events that include numerous disruptions to the race
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS) passes over one of the bridges on Stage 1 at Energiewacht Tour

Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS) passes over one of the bridges on Stage 1 at Energiewacht Tour
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)

The organisers of the women's Energiewacht Tour have made an official apology after a disruptive opening stage in which the peloton experienced a number of difficult moments throughout the 107.9km stage.

The 139-rider field was forced to stop on more than one occasion as the race crossed a number of canal bridges and railway tracks throughout the day. A raised bridge, passing train, trucks and vehicles allowed onto the course and incorrect directions meant that tempers were starting to flare by the time the bunch reached the finishing circuit.

The large truck which ventured onto the course after miscommunication with the local police also saw riders subject to dangerous circumstances with the peloton eventually calling to a stop in protest with one lap remaining on the finishing circuit.

Race organisers explained each of the separate events that occurred on the official race website and gave a closing message in an attempt to calm the emotions of the many who no doubt felt their performance could have been improved without the issues.

"After the race had been restarted the race jury did not communicate with the police that the race was moving again. This was the reason for the road traffic and was very unfortunate," read the statement.

"The peloton had to come to a stop on a bridge for a boat to pass underneath. This is something that we as an organisation cannot explain because the agreement with the operator was that at that time it had to be kept closed to traffic.

"The organization want to join the riders and teams in order to apologise for the things that have gone wrong today. Murphy's Law was clearly effective. We have an understanding and admiration for the professional manner in which the riders treated the situation during the race and hope that we have no further problems in the coming five days."

There was however, a clear winner in the form of Kirsten Wild (Team Argos-Shimano) who was pushed to the line by Ellen Van Dijk (Specialized – Lululemon). Wild had been part of the eventual four-rider move that formed once the race restarted at the beginning of the final lap in Winschoten.

Iris Slappendel (Rabo Women) and Orica GreenEdge's Loes Gunnewijk were dispatched from the break as the sprint opened up with 300m to go and followed across the line three-seconds in arrears.

A number of pre-race favourites missed the move in what had been a testing day of racing but with high winds predicted throughout the week and a tough 21.1km individual time trial on Stage 3, the race remains very much open.