In a repeat of the past two years, Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team started Giro della Toscana with a victory in the prologue. The team was impressive earning all three podium positions.
Lisa Klein won the opening stage. She navigated the 2,2 kilometre course in 2 minutes 52 seconds. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig was second while defending champion Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was third.
In an impressive team performance, Clara Koppenburg and Stephanie Gaumnitz (née Pohl) also finished inside the top 10.
“This short distance suits me, especially with my track racing experience,” Klein said. “I’ve also been better technically this year and the course had two U-turns so I handled those corners well. I remembered the course from last year so I knew what to do. I’ve been working hard on the TT bike the last few weeks and feel one with the bike.”
Klein says the victory is made more special after being joined by her teammates on the podium. “I was on the course supporting Ashleigh during her ride and cheered for her. It feels good and we really enjoyed the day today.”
The Italian stage race features two road stages on Saturday and Sunday. Tomorrow will see the peloton race 133,6 kilometres. The most challenging part of the course comes in the form of two GPM’s in Segromigno in Monte after 104,9km and 129,7km.
“We have a strong team here for the next two days and have some cards to play. We’ll be looking for a good result and to come through the race well,” Klein concluded.