Boels-Dolmans has struck first at the OVO Women’s Tour.

Belgian rider Jolien D’Hoore (Boels-Dolmans) won Monday’s opening stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, a hilly 157.6km stage from Beccles To Stowmarket in the eastern U.K. The victory marked a repeat for D’Hoore, who won the opening stage of the 2018 race when it finished in Southwold.

D’Hoore unleashed her sprint with 150 meters remaining in the stage, and actually finished just ahead of her teammate Amy Pieters, who was her lead out rider.

“It was pretty hard and I’m happy I could show it today with the stage win,” D’Hoore said. “The team was really strong and they brought me actually to the perfect position going into the sprint, dropping me off at 150 meters to go.”

D’Hoore’s sprint came after the peloton battled rain and cold temperatures for much of the stage. The women’s peloton stayed together for much of the day, with Abby-Mae Parkinson (Drops) finally breaking away from the group with fewer than 30km to go.

Parkinson held a 1:30 gap on the peloton but was eventually caught with 2km remaining.

D’Hoore’s victory brings her the first leader’s jersey of the race, which runs Monday through this coming Saturday, June 16. The race concludes in Pembrey Country Park in South Wales. The Belgian rider said Boels-Dolmans does not intend to race for the GC overall; instead, the Dutch team will compete for stage victories.

“But if you’re close in the stages you’re obviously close in GC, so we’ll just take it day-by-day and we’ll see how we go,” D’Hoore said. “We have a few strong girls like Amy, Christine Majerus, also Chantal Blaak is really going good, so we just see.”

The race often caters to the peloton’s fastest sprinters, with time bonuses available on the line and at mid-race sprints. In 2018 Americna Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) won the overall after winning the second stage. Rivera currently sits tied for sixth place, 0″08 seconds behind D’Hoore.

Results: OVO Women’s Tour

Stage 1: Beccles to Stowmarket

  1. Jolien D’Hoore (Bel), Boels-Dolmans, 4:09:12
  2. Amy Pieters (Nl), Boels-Dolmans
  3. Lisa Brennauer (Ger), WNT-Rotor
  4. Roxane Fournier (FR), Movistar Team
  5. Marianne Vos (Nl), CCC-Liv
  6. Chloe Hosking (Aus), Ale-Cippolini
  7. Maria Giulia Confalornieri (Ital), Valcar-Cyclance
  8. Sheyla Guttierez Ruiz (Esp), Movistar Team
  9. Julie Leth (Den), Bigla
  10. Saray Roy (Aus), Mitchelton-Scott

General Classification

  1. D’Hoore, 4:09:02
  2. Pieters, at 0:02
  3. Brennauer, at 0:06
  4. Ruiz, at 0:07
  5. Vos, at 0:08
  6. Coryn Rivera (USA), at s.t.
  7. Fournier, at 0:10
  8. Hosking
  9. Confalonieri
  10. Leth, all at s.t.