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Setmana Ciclista Valenciana: Annemiek van Vleuten takes stage 1 victory after crashing on final descent

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar)
Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) secured a solo victory in the opening stage at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana on Thursday. The European Champion attacked over the final climb, a despite crashing on the descent, she crossed the finish line alone to take the stage win and the first leader's jersey in the four-day event.

She crossed the line 2:06 ahead of chaser Mavi Garcia (Ale BTC Ljublana) and 2:21 ahead of the next group sprint won by her Movistar teammate Katrine Aalerud.

"We wanted to play it really open at this race, because I didn't want to put myself on too much pressure. It was all about the team, not going with me to chase the leader's jersey from day one - and it won't be our priority to defend it," Van Vleuten said in a statement following the race"

"It's more about putting on a great show and playing for stages with other girls. Obviously, the rest is not so close now, we've got some gap to play with and Katrine has also shown great form with that third place, so I think we can play that game with other teammates."

How it unfolded

The opening stage offered a 125km race between Barxeta and Gandia. There were four categorised climbs at Alto Barxeta (10.8km), Alto Serra Grossa (65km), Alto Barxeta (98.6km) and then Alto Barx (111km), followed by a descent and then a flat 3km to the finish line in Gandia. 

A two-rider breakaway cleared the field over the Alto Barxeta with Omer Shapira (Canyon-SRAM) and Heidi Franz (Rally Cycling) that built a lead out to 1:30 on the main peloton. Their gap increased to 2:40 minutes after the first hour of racing, while Team BikeExchange and Movistar set a quick pace behind them.

Shapira rode away from Franz over the Alto Serra Grossa at the 65km mark, and built a solo lead out to 2:30 ahead of the field.

Eight chasers emerged behind that initially included Lisa Klein (Canyon-SRAM), Urska Žigart (Team Bike Exchange), Alicia Gonzalez (Movistar) and Krista Doebel-Hickok (Rally Cycling), later joined by Rasa Leleivytė (Aromitalia-Basso-Viano), Anastasiia Chursina (Ale BTC Ljubljana) and Giorgia Vettorello (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo).

Shapira kept her lead over the Alto Barxeta with 26km to go, but she was soon caught and passed by late-race attackers Van Vleuten and Mavi Garcia (Ale BTC Ljublana).

"Paula Patiño set up a super good attack - she actually ended up setting my own attack, because I wanted to work for Katrine, and I picked the pace for that, but I was a little bit too fast and she didn't tell me to slow down. We need to work a little bit on the communications side of things, since our plan was to set Katrine up for her to go. In the end, I went, I continued with Mavi, and with 1km to go I went on my own," Van Vleuten explained the team tactics.

Van Vleuten made her solo bid for victory, and with 15km to go, held a sizable lead on what was left of the peloton over the top of the final ascent of the stage - Alto Barx.

Although Van Vleuten crashed on the final descent, after a quick bike change, she was back up and racing, and crossed the line with a solo victory and the overall race lead. However, she maintains that the race is still wide open and the team objective is to give opportunities to her teammates.

"Our goal here remains giving everyone an opportunity, that's the objective. Even on the sprint stages - I'm really keen to do the leadout for our fast riders. I don't want the stress to defend the jersey, the objective is to play the game for the team, defending here would need a lot of energy."

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar Team Women 3:21:02
2Mavi Garcia (Spa) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:02:06
3Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Movistar Team Women 0:02:21
4Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
5Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing
6Spela Kern (Slo) Massi Tactic Women Team
7Noemi Rüegg (Swi) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
8Debora Silvestri (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
9Neve Bradbury (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing
10Greta Marturano (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
11Janneke Ensing (Ned) Team BikeExchange
12Omer Shapira (Isr) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:02:24
13Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:03:01
14Tereza Neumanová (Cze) Women Cycling Sport
15Sandra Alonso Dominguez (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
16Severine Eraud (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling 0:03:03
17Paula Patiño Bedoya (Col) Movistar Team Women
18Olha Kulynych (Ukr) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
19Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Rally Cycling
20Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:03:04
21Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
22Nadine Michaela Gill (Ger) Bizkaia-Durango
23Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
24Idoia Eraso Lasa (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi
25Mireia Benito Pellicer (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
26Ines Cantera Carrasco (Spa) Sopela Women's Team
27Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Women Cycling Sport
28Inga Cesuliene (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
29Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) Team BikeExchange
30Georgia Williams (NZl) Team BikeExchange
31Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
32Anna Christian (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
33Yuliia Biriukova (Ukr) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
34Vita Heine (Nor) Massi Tactic Women Team
35Giorgia Bariani (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo 0:03:12
36Amber Aernouts (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team 0:05:17
37Maaike Coljé (Ned) Massi Tactic Women Team
38Amelia Sharpe (GBr) NXTG Racing
39Julia Borgström (Swe) NXTG Racing
40Emma Grant (GBr) Massi Tactic Women Team
41Fie Osterby (Den) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte
42Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Team BikeExchange
43Katie Clouse (USA) Rally Cycling
44Susana Perez Conejero (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte 0:06:25
45Alice Towers (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
46Sophie Wright (GBr) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
47Gaia Masetti (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
48Giorgia Vettorello (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
49Sara Penton (Swe) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
50Anastasiia Chursina (Rus) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
51Anna Baidak (Rus) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa 0:06:26
52Alessia Vigilia (Ita) Women Cycling Sport 0:06:32
53Laura Tomasi (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
54Agnieta Francke (Ned) Team Farto-BTC 0:07:16
55Sofia Rodriguez Revert (Spa) Sopela Women's Team
56Nicole Steigenga (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
57Christina Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
58Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Movistar Team Women
59Olivia Baril (Can) Massi Tactic Women Team
60Teniel Campbell (TTo) Team BikeExchange
61Marta Romeu Solaz (Spa) VIB Sports
62Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing
63Usoa Ostolaza Zabala (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi 0:09:06
64Olivia Ray (NZl) Rally Cycling 0:09:39
65Elise Marie Olsen (Nor) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
66Michelle Andres (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
67Emilie Fortin (Can) Bizkaia-Durango
68Claire Steels (GBr) Sopela Women's Team
69Elisabet Escursell Valero (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte
70Holly Breck (USA) Rally Cycling
71Maeva Squiban (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
72Giulia Marchesini (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
73Sara Poidevin (Can) Rally Cycling
74Leigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Rally Cycling
75Urska Zigart (Slo) Team BikeExchange
76Annabel Fisher (GBr) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling 0:11:17
77Sandra Moral Ventosinos (Spa) Team Farto-BTC
78Nicole D'Agostin (Ita) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
79Heidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling 0:11:46
80Georgia Danford (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
81Alessia Bulleri (Ita) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
82Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
83Fabienne Buri (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
84Jessica Allen (Aus) Team BikeExchange
85Michela Balducci (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
86Lija Laizane (Lat) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
87Elisa Dalla Valle (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
88Kathrin Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
89Gemma Sernissi (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
90Maria Martins (Por) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
91Nofar Maoz (Isr) Women Cycling Sport 0:13:03
92Nerea Nuño Iglesias (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte
93Britt Knaven (Bel) NXTG Racing 0:14:40
94Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team Women 0:16:12
95Emma Ortiz Bonilla (Spa) Sopela Women's Team 0:16:56
96April Tacey (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur 0:17:10
97Kim Baptista (GBr) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa 0:17:13
98Gloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team Women 0:17:15
99Mireia Trias Jordan (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
100Noemie Abgrall (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
101Varvara Fasoi (Gre) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
102Liliana Jesus (Por) Team Farto-BTC 0:19:59
103Finja Smekal (Ger) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
104Paula Soler Llacer (Spa) Sopela Women's Team
105Ariana Gilabert Vilaplana (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
106Maria del Pilar Jimenez Martinez (Spa) Team Farto-BTC
107Irantzu Beloki Arcelus (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi
108Lena Mettraux (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
109Isabel Martin Martin (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte 0:20:07
110Elodie Le Bail (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling 0:21:57
111Esthefania Hurtado Campuzano (Spa) VIB Sports
112Maryoly Sosa (Ven) VIB Sports
113Catalina Anais Soto Campos (Chi) NXTG Racing 0:21:59
114Ella Harris (NZl) Canyon-SRAM Racing
115Luciana Roland (Arg) Women Cycling Sport
116Sara Bonillo Talens (Spa) Team Farto-BTC
117Minke Bakker (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
118Teresa Ripoll Sabate (Spa) Team Farto-BTC
119Stella Nightingale (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
120Emily Wadsworth (GBr) NXTG Racing
121Mylene de Zoete (Ned) NXTG Racing
122Enara Lopez Gallastegi (Spa) Team Farto-BTC 0:22:01
123Rylee McMullen (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch 0:22:45
124Ainhize Barrainkua Agirre (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi 0:22:54
125Natalia Saiz Sanchez (Spa) Sopela Women's Team 0:23:16
126Maria Banlles Santamaria (Spa) Sopela Women's Team
127Nicole Hanselmann (Swi) Women Cycling Sport 0:27:48
OTLElena Cuenca Salazar (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi 0:31:04
OTLLydia Iglesias Bares (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
DNFCarolina Esteban Fernandez (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte
DNFAnia Horcajada Henche (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte
DNFGarazi Estevez Guede (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi
DNFDolores Gomez Ramos (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi
DNFMelisa Gomiz Perez (Spa) VIB Sports
DNFGeorgia Bullard (GBr) VIB Sports
DNFMae Lang (Est) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch

General classification after stage 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar Team Women 3:20:52
2Mavi Garcia (Spa) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:02:10
3Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Movistar Team Women 0:02:27
4Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano 0:02:31
5Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing
6Spela Kern (Slo) Massi Tactic Women Team
7Noemi Rüegg (Swi) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
8Debora Silvestri (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
9Neve Bradbury (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing
10Greta Marturano (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
11Janneke Ensing (Ned) Team BikeExchange
12Omer Shapira (Isr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
13Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:03:11
14Tereza Neumanová (Cze) Women Cycling Sport
15Sandra Alonso Dominguez (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
16Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Rally Cycling 0:03:12
17Severine Eraud (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling 0:03:13
18Paula Patiño Bedoya (Col) Movistar Team Women
19Olha Kulynych (Ukr) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
20Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:03:14
21Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
22Nadine Michaela Gill (Ger) Bizkaia-Durango
23Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
24Idoia Eraso Lasa (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi
25Mireia Benito Pellicer (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
26Ines Cantera Carrasco (Spa) Sopela Women's Team
27Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Women Cycling Sport
28Inga Cesuliene (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
29Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) Team BikeExchange
30Georgia Williams (NZl) Team BikeExchange
31Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
32Anna Christian (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
33Yuliia Biriukova (Ukr) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
34Vita Heine (Nor) Massi Tactic Women Team
35Giorgia Bariani (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo 0:03:22
36Amber Aernouts (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team 0:05:27
37Maaike Coljé (Ned) Massi Tactic Women Team
38Amelia Sharpe (GBr) NXTG Racing
39Julia Borgström (Swe) NXTG Racing
40Emma Grant (GBr) Massi Tactic Women Team
41Fie Osterby (Den) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte
42Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Team BikeExchange
43Katie Clouse (USA) Rally Cycling
44Giorgia Vettorello (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo 0:06:33
45Susana Perez Conejero (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte 0:06:35
46Alice Towers (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
47Sophie Wright (GBr) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
48Gaia Masetti (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
49Sara Penton (Swe) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
50Anastasiia Chursina (Rus) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
51Anna Baidak (Rus) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa 0:06:36
52Alessia Vigilia (Ita) Women Cycling Sport 0:06:42
53Laura Tomasi (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
54Agnieta Francke (Ned) Team Farto-BTC 0:07:26
55Sofia Rodriguez Revert (Spa) Sopela Women's Team
56Nicole Steigenga (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
57Christina Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
58Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Movistar Team Women
59Olivia Baril (Can) Massi Tactic Women Team
60Teniel Campbell (TTo) Team BikeExchange
61Marta Romeu Solaz (Spa) VIB Sports
62Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing
63Usoa Ostolaza Zabala (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi 0:09:16
64Olivia Ray (NZl) Rally Cycling 0:09:49
65Elise Marie Olsen (Nor) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
66Michelle Andres (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
67Emilie Fortin (Can) Bizkaia-Durango
68Claire Steels (GBr) Sopela Women's Team
69Elisabet Escursell Valero (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte
70Holly Breck (USA) Rally Cycling
71Maeva Squiban (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
72Giulia Marchesini (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
73Sara Poidevin (Can) Rally Cycling
74Leigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Rally Cycling
75Urska Zigart (Slo) Team BikeExchange
76Annabel Fisher (GBr) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling 0:11:27
77Sandra Moral Ventosinos (Spa) Team Farto-BTC
78Nicole D'Agostin (Ita) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
79Heidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling 0:11:56
80Georgia Danford (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
81Alessia Bulleri (Ita) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
82Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
83Fabienne Buri (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
84Jessica Allen (Aus) Team BikeExchange
85Michela Balducci (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
86Lija Laizane (Lat) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
87Elisa Dalla Valle (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
88Kathrin Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
89Gemma Sernissi (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
90Maria Martins (Por) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
91Nofar Maoz (Isr) Women Cycling Sport 0:13:13
92Nerea Nuño Iglesias (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte
93Britt Knaven (Bel) NXTG Racing 0:14:50
94Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team Women 0:16:22
95Emma Ortiz Bonilla (Spa) Sopela Women's Team 0:17:06
96April Tacey (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur 0:17:20
97Kim Baptista (GBr) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa 0:17:23
98Gloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team Women 0:17:25
99Mireia Trias Jordan (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
100Noemie Abgrall (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
101Varvara Fasoi (Gre) Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa
102Liliana Jesus (Por) Team Farto-BTC 0:20:09
103Finja Smekal (Ger) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
104Paula Soler Llacer (Spa) Sopela Women's Team
105Ariana Gilabert Vilaplana (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
106Maria del Pilar Jimenez Martinez (Spa) Team Farto-BTC
107Irantzu Beloki Arcelus (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi
108Lena Mettraux (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
109Isabel Martin Martin (Spa) Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte 0:20:17
110Elodie Le Bail (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling 0:22:07
111Esthefania Hurtado Campuzano (Spa) VIB Sports
112Maryoly Sosa (Ven) VIB Sports
113Catalina Anais Soto Campos (Chi) NXTG Racing 0:22:09
114Ella Harris (NZl) Canyon-SRAM Racing
115Luciana Roland (Arg) Women Cycling Sport
116Sara Bonillo Talens (Spa) Team Farto-BTC
117Minke Bakker (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
118Teresa Ripoll Sabate (Spa) Team Farto-BTC
119Stella Nightingale (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
120Emily Wadsworth (GBr) NXTG Racing
121Mylene de Zoete (Ned) NXTG Racing
122Enara Lopez Gallastegi (Spa) Team Farto-BTC 0:22:11
123Rylee McMullen (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch 0:22:55
124Ainhize Barrainkua Agirre (Spa) Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi 0:23:04
125Natalia Saiz Sanchez (Spa) Sopela Women's Team 0:23:26
126Maria Banlles Santamaria (Spa) Sopela Women's Team
127Nicole Hanselmann (Swi) Women Cycling Sport 0:27:58
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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