Three-time road race world champion Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) is happy to admit that she has limited experience of racing in indoor, online races – which have boomed in popularity since the worldwide introduction of social-distancing measures due to the coronavirus – but it didn't stop her from winning the opening stage of the women's Zwift Tour for All on Monday.
Vos beat FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope's Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank's Leah Dixon over 52.8km – six laps of Zwift's 8.8km Innsbruck World Championships circuit.
Uttrup Ludwig's attack in the final stages of the race looked as though it might bag her the victory, only for Vos to take advantage of an aero power-up and come past her for the win in the final 150 metres.
"There was this attack from Cecilie, who really wanted to surprise the group, and then I nearly missed the group so had to make a big effort again to stay in the wheels," said Vos in a post-race press conference.
"In the final sprint, I really had to give it everything. It's something compared to racing on the road, getting the timing right and trying to save energy where you can, although my cadence was a little lower than on the road, so I tried to do a big gear for the final sprint," she said.
"I'm not that experienced on Zwift. I got some tips and tricks from teammates – those who were racing before who gave some good info about what to do with the power-ups," Vos admitted, referring to the likes of Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and Riejanne Markus, who she'd thanked in the immediate aftermath of her win.
"You can't use them all the time," she said about the training app's 'boosts', which help to give the popular training tool an extra videogame feel, "but I had some good tricks to save it for the finale, and you try to make the most of it."
When asked about her home set-up, Vos explained that she raced in her garage on a Tacx Neo turbo trainer.
"It's good to have the right set-up, as then you enjoy it much more, with some fans, with a good screen, the right trainer. It's good fun, but still hard," Vos said, who is set to return for stage 2 of the five-stage Tour for All on Tuesday.
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