Itzulia Women Stage 1: Mischa Bredewold sprints to victory

Written by: Neil Cormier
Posted 2 weeks ago

Mischa Bredewold (SD Worx-Protime) won stage 1 of the Itzulia Women ahead of Arlenis Sierra (Movistar) and her teammate Demi Vollering.

“This means a lot to me,” said Bredewold afterwards. “The team did so well, they really believed in me and gave me support all day – that feels really special. The lead-out was perfect, and I am very grateful.”

SD Worx-Protime appears to have the strongest team this year with Reusser, Vollering, Vas, Fisher-Black, Schreiber, and Bredewold, and are eager to take another victory at this race after winning it in 2022 and 2023.

“We want to race really open as a team, we will see what happens in the upcoming days,” explained Bredewold. “The other girls also want to try something, and we have some really talented riders for the hard uphill stages. For sure, we won’t hold back, as long as we can win with the team, that’s the most important.”

 

How the race unfolded

Stage 1 was 140km from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Elgoibar, with two category 3 climbs at 37.5km and 120.5km, and one category 2 climb at 88km.

For the most part, the peloton stay together until 63 km to go when Petra Stiasny (Fenix-Deceuninck) and Stine Dale (Team Coop-Repsol) attacked and got away. Eventually, Dale dropped Stiasny and Valentina Cavallar (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) bridged up to Dale and the two worked together, building up a lead of around 1 minute with 40km to go.

Stiasny and Dale’s gap began to shrink as the duo began the last climb, Itziar, when Brodie Chapman (Lidl-Trek) and Urška Žigart (Liv-AlUla-Jayco) upped the pace and Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime) came to the front. Near the top of the climb, Dale was the first to be absorbed by the peloton and only Cavallar was able to hold off the peloton for QOM points.

With less than 20km remaining, SD Worx-Protime attempted to take control leading into the Intermediate sprint in Deba at 126km, but were denied by Moviestar who were able to put teammate Olivia Baril in position to take the bonus seconds.

With a little more than 5km to go, Elena Pirrone (Roland) attacked, eventually bringing with her five riders, but the group didn’t work together and were reeled in with 3km to go by DSM-Firmenich PostNL.

With 3km to go, SD Worx-Protime came to the front and began to control the pace, but were disrupted by a short-lived attack by Brodie Chapman (Lidl-Trek). As soon as Chapman was caught, Moviestar took the opportunity to move to the front with their lead-out train and looked well-positioned with 1km remaining. But Marlen Reusser (SD Worx-Protime) emerged from the peloton and came to the front with teammates Vollering and Bredewold on her wheel and drove it to the 500 meter mark.

With less than 500 meters to go, Vollering took over from Reusser and led out the sprint into the technical finish with her teammate Bredewold in fourth position behind her. With a little more than 100m to go, Bredewold launched her sprint and held it to the line to win by more than a bike length.

Tomorrow’s stage 2 is 104km from Basauri to Basauri and features three categorized climbs, as well as a challenging ascent and descent in the final 10km.

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