Alison Jackson sprints to victory in Stage 2 of La Vuelta Femenina

Written by: Niels Goudriaan
Posted 4 weeks ago

In an exciting finale where crashes marked the final kilometers, Alison Jackson of EF Education-Cannondale was victorious in today’s second stage of La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour.es. This intense stage was marked by several crashes, which reshaped the leaderboard and left Blanka Vas of SD Worx-Protime as the new overall leader after the Hungarian rider finished second behind the Canadian rider and ahead of Dutch UAE Team ADQ rider Karlijn Swinkels

The race day started under overcast skies, with slight raindrops with teams lining up in Bunyol, a town famed for its vibrant Tomatina festival. Despite the mild rain, spirits were high as 144 riders rolled out, aware of the challenging conditions awaiting them. From the neutral start, the atmosphere was tense, reflecting the anticipation of a stage that promised significant impact on the general standings.

Early in the race, 3 riders attacked the peloton, Idoia Eraso (Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi), Angela Oro (Bepink-Bongioanni) and Marine Allione (Winspace) where followed by 3 other riders, Romy Kasper (Human Powered Health), Valerie Demey (Volkerwessels) and Camilla Bye (Team Coop-Repsol) who later joined to have a the six in a breakaway have a maximum of 3 minutes on the peloton.

As the race progressed towards the QOM at Puerto de l’Oronet, the peloton’s composition began to change. Teams like EF Education-Cannondale, Liv-Jayco-AlUla, and Visma | Lease a Bike took turns at the front, setting a high pace to position their leaders. This climb, albeit not the steepest, was strategic for gathering Queen of the Mountain points, and Bonus seconds for GC, with Karlijn Swinkels of UAE Team ADQ emerging on top, followed by Amanda Spratt and Gaia Realini of Lidl-Trek, who were keen on protecting their standings.

The descent from Puerto de l’Oronet proved tricky due to the wet conditions, leading to a crash involving Mareille Meijering, though she quickly rejoined the race. The scattered peloton regrouped and teams prepared for the final kilometers into Moncofa.

Then the intermediate sprint at Alfara de la Baronia was another focal point for teams, with Anneke Dijkstra of Volker Wessels grabbing full points and bonus seconds, followed closely by Kata Blanka Vas of SD Worx-Protime and Grace Brown of FDJ-SUEZ.

Due to a the high pace in the descent towards the intermediate sprint, the peloton split into different groups, with sprint cannon Charlotte Kool finding herself in the second group. The group swell to about 30 riders and they did everything to get back to the leading peloton, knowing it is was a hard task.

With 10 kilometers to go, Movistar’s Sara Martín was instrumental in controlling the pace, ensuring that the team was well-positioned for the sprint. The last 5 kilometers were particularly chaotic, with several minor crashes and mechanical issues disrupting the flow, but none causing serious injuries.

The drama peaked in the final 3 kilometers, as a crash on a rotunda with wet roads disrupted the main group, affecting riders like Lizzie Deignan and Anna Henderson. This created a small gap at the front, momentarily giving Jelena Eric of Movistar an advantage. However, the peloton was quick to react, with Fenix-Deceunick leading the charge to reel her back in just as the final kilometer approached. However big names like Marianne Vos were behind the crash and were unable to get back to the leading group and were eliminated for a bunch sprint.

In the decisive moments, EF Education prepared the lead-out for Alison Jackson, who was positioned perfectly behind Kristen Faulkner. With perfect timing, Jackson launched her sprint at 200 meters, overpowering her rivals to seize a thrilling victory. Kata Blanka Vas and Karlijn Swinkels followed in second and third.

SD Worx-Protime’s Kata Blanka Vas taking over the red jersey, becoming the new overall leader of La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour.es.

Results Stage 2

  1. Alison Jackson (EF Education-Cannondale)
  2. Blanka Vas (SD Worx-Protime) s.t.
  3. Karlijn Swinkels (UAE Team ADQ) s.t.
  4. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) s.t.
  5. Ingvild Gaskjenn (Liv-AlUla-Jayco) s.t.

Tomorrow is Stage 3 of La Vuelta Femenina by Carrefour.es from Lucena to Teruel of 130,2 kilometer.

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