Strong team performance in Elsy Jacobs prologue
The Festival Elsy Jacobs stage race kicked off with a 2.8km prologue on Friday night. The team put in a strong performance, placing four riders in the top 20. Lotta Lepistö who won the prologue in Emakumeen Bira placed 11th, 10 seconds slower than Annemiek van Vleuten’s (Orica-AIS) winning time of 3’55”.
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was 12th, Stephanie Pohl 14th and Carmen Small 16th.
“It was a very technical prologue,” Lepistö said. “There was a climb in the first 300 metres then a lot of corners, a lot of sprinting and a very technical descent. I’m not totally happy with the result but it’s ok after getting back on the bike after illness. Of course I was hoping for more and a better result but we will take it from here.”
Soon after finishing her ride, Moolman-Pasio commented on the course, “It was an interesting prologue. It started with a steep climb but it was short, just a few hundred metres then went into a fast decent into narrow technical roads with a lot of corners. What was interesting is although the climb was quite hard to start with it’s evident from the results that the descents made more of a difference than the climb. The slightly bigger, heavier riders had the faster times.”
The race continues on Saturday with the first road stage over 107km. “We’re in for two hard days and we have some options to play and everyone is within seconds. Both the stages this year are different to last year. It’s the same format as it starts with a big loop then finish on shorter loops. I think the stages are harder than last year so should make for some good racing,” Moolman-Pasio concluded.