Annemiek van Vleuten immediately won the first women’s race since the corona crisis on Thursday. The reigning road world champion was the strongest in Spain in the one-day race Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa.
Van Vleuten joined Anna van der Breggen in the final with the Spanish Mavi García, who had run away alone. Even before the top of the Zuarrarrate, a climb of the second category, García was caught by the two Dutch riders.
With 4 kilometers to go, 37-year-old Van Vleuten accelerated the pace and first had to unload Van der Breggen and then García. The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider was no longer obsolete and crossed the finish line after more than 118 kilometers from Pamplona to Lekunberri.
For Van Vleuten it was her first race since February 29. Then she rode her first race in the rainbow jersey with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and also soloed to victory. Because of her victory in Spain, she is therefore unbeaten this season.
For the users of the app: click on the tweet to see the finish of Van Vleuten.
Team van Vos withdraws at the last moment
Marianne Vos would also participate in the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa, but her team CCC-Liv withdrew for the Spanish race earlier in the day. According to the Dutch formation, the health risks in the Navarre region were too great to appear at the start.
The Spanish cycling team Bizkaia-Durango also had to drop out for its own audience at the last minute. The results of that team’s corona tests were not yet known and stringent security measures had to be followed due to the corona virus.
Three races are being held in Spain this week. Friday the Klasikoa Navarra is on the program and Sunday the Durango-Durango is the last of the trilogy. Van Vleuten and Van der Breggen also appear at the start in these competitions. Vos and her teammates of CCC-Liv are only present on Sunday.
Tour of Sibiu first professional race for the men
The men also had the first professional race on Thursday. In Romania, the German Nikodemus Holler won the prologue of the Tour of Sibiu. He took full advantage of the weather conditions by being the first to set a fast time. Then it started to rain and nobody got his time.
The Tour of Sibiu is the first men’s professional race in four months. In mid-March, the peloton last played in Paris-Nice.
Mathieu van der Poel would also participate in Romania, but his team Alpecin-Fenix decided to withdraw due to a negative travel advice. In Romania, corona infections have risen sharply in recent days. For example, more than 1,100 infections were detected on Thursday.