Thursday 7 June 2012

Emakumeen Bira 2012 Stage 1

Ina-Yoko Teutenberg
Thursday's Stage 1, beginning at Iurreta (or Yurreta, as the Spanish call it) in Biscay province took in 97.1km with a trio of unclassified climbs and a Category 3 thrown in for good measure. The pacours headed upwards right from the start line; almost imperceptibly at first but then steeper after 5km to the first peak 13.5km in, followed by a fast descent to Berriz and then much less steep falling terrain to Erletxeta at 38km - hometown of Vicente Blanco who, in 1910, was the first Spanish rider to ever compete in the Tour de France. A gentle hill followed, then at 49km the riders began the much harder ascent to Artbakarra, 54.4km into the race. Another fast descent led to Mungia (Munguia), then the riders began to gently climb to Gamiz-Fika where they started the Cat 3 climb to Astoreka, 72.3km in and 200m above sea level. Having completed the day's last downhill to Erletxeta, there were 16.4km of gentler climbing to get back to Iurreta, then a final flat 3.1km to the finish line at Matiena (see the stage profile here).

Numerous riders tried to escape the peloton once the racing was underway, but since the parcours was fast they were rapidly swept up and put back in their places. Valentina Scadolara won both intermediate sprints to pick up useful points for her Michela Fanini team while Christel Ferrier of Hitec Products-Mistral Home grabbed the first mountain points of the rade when she was first into Astoreka. On paper, it looked to be a relatively easy stage, but rain in the latter part made conditions difficult and many of the riders took the last few corners with extra care.
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg ‏@yokoteute OMG....what a cluster F..... In last 10k. Think i nearly shit my pants couple of times. But all @velociosports worked hard+delivered me!
With those last flat kilometres, a sprint finish was as good as guaranteed today - and many people fully expected Specialized-Lululmon's devastatingly quick sprinter Ina-Yoko Teutenberg to take the honours. She didn't disappoint, despite very strong competition from Shelley Olds (AA and a number of other riders including Rabobank's Annemiek van Vleuten, powering through the last 300m and holding them off all the way to the line. Tomorrow, the race climbs three Cat 3 hills and a 400m Cat 2, then ends with what promises to be a lightning-fast downhill section to the finish. It's a considerably more difficult parcours than Stage 1 and the results will probably look very different to today's.
Emma Johansson ‏@emmaprocyclist Crazy finish... Say no more! @ChristelFerrier i mtns jersey for 2mrw :) On massagetable already getting ready for stage #2 #Bira
Top Ten
   1.  11  TEUTENBERG, Ina Yoko  SPECIALIZED-LULULEMON  2:29:44      
   2. 146  OLDS, Shelley  AA DRINK-LEONTIEN.NL        ST     
   3.  13  WORRACK, Trixi  SPECIALIZED-LULULEMON     ST          
   4.   1  V. VLEUTEN, Annemiek  RABOBANK     ST         
   5.  51  BRAS, Martine  DOLMANS-BOELS C.T.       ST         
   6. 113  PIETERS, Amy  SKILL-ARGOS             ST         
   7. 123  AMIALIUSIK, Alena  BE PINK                  ST         
   8. 105  GUNNEWIJK, Loes  GREENEDGE-AIS            ST        
   9.  34  JANELIUNAITE, Edita  DIADORA-PASTA ZARA       ST        
  10.  25  FERRIER, Christel  HITEC PRODUCTS-MISTRAL HOME          ST  
(Full results)

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