For Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek), racing the UAE Tour Ladies is particular in additional than simply carrying bib number one because the 2023 winner. The Center Jap race additionally marks her comeback to the peloton after an extended interval with sickness and accidents, having needed to abandon the final three races she began – Giro d’Italia Donne, Tour de France Femmes, and Tour de Romandie.
With simply over 50 kilometres to go, the Italian champion hit the deck in a crash. However not like final yr, she was fortunate and escaped with solely a small minimize on her arm, simply chasing again to the peloton.
“It was only a small crash with out penalties. After which I had a small flat tyre on the entrance however general, nothing particular,” Longo Borghini confirmed to Cyclingnews after the 122km stage.
Early on, the sturdy wind pressured a cut up within the peloton, riders took alternatives to assault and there have been a number of crashes. Ultimately all of it got here again collectively, and Longo Borghini was a part of all of it once more.
“It has been good to be again. I had actually been wanting ahead to it. I feel I skilled virtually every little thing you possibly can expertise in a single season, multi function stage, however I’m very pleased to be again racing.”
The Italian champion is a component of a giant pack sitting simply 10 seconds out of the general lead, taken on the opening day by stage 1 winner Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime).
Assaults all day – however no success
With out echelons, the stage was as a substitute formed by a number of breakaways. Essentially the most lively rider was Yanina Kuskova (Tashkent Metropolis Ladies) who made a made a solo transfer, then bridged to Gaia Segato (Prime Ladies Fassa Bortolo) after her first try had been introduced again.
By profitable the day’s second intermediate dash, Kuskova took the lead within the U23 classification and the intermediate dash classification, incomes two journeys onto the rostrum on the Dubai Harbour.
“I’m very pleased to get the younger rider’s jersey. That was my plan for in the present day, and I’m pleased to have made it work,” Kuskova instructed Cyclingnews along with her sports activities director appearing as translator between English and Russian.
Going ahead, Kuskova has a purpose for the overall classification: “I want to hold one of many jerseys to the top of the race, however I additionally need to be prime 20 general. I do know that there are loads of sturdy riders right here, a prime 20 could be nice,” she stated.
Within the remaining of the stage, Claire Steels (Movistar Staff) fell sufferer to a crash, however three of her teammates dropped again to assist their GC chief again to the peloton.
And because the dash trains have been preparing, Carina Schrempf (Fenix-Deceuninck) made a final bid for glory. The Austrian champion jumped from the peloton with 2.5km to go and had a good hole however was ultimately swept up 700 metres from the road, simply after the flip onto the ending straight.
“We wished to assault late within the remaining if the chance got here alongside. The prospect to make it to the end was very small with the headwind on the ending straight, however it’s a must to have a plan and attempt to undergo with it, that a lot I’ve discovered in my transient biking profession,” Schrempf defined.
“I did that, so I’m pleased with the trouble. I’m not fairly highly effective sufficient but to complete it off, I hope that I can enhance additional through the season. For the primary race of the yr, it was alright, and we additionally labored nicely as a group, that’s essential too.”