Amalie Dideriksen sprinted to victory in Tiel on Tuesday evening. The 20-year-old won the opening stage of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour to pull on the orange leader’s jersey.
Dideriksen was meant lead-out her teammate Chantal Blaak, but when a technical finish disrupted the Boels Dolmans Cycling Team sprint train, Dideriksen embraced the opportunity to chase a personal result.
“We were all together with five kilometres to go, but we got away from each other around all the corners,” said Dideriksen. “In the end, I was behind Ellen [van Dijk], and I said to her with one kilometre to go: ‘ok Ellen, I’m on your wheel.’ She put me in the perfect position. I was second or third coming into the last corner, and I opened my sprint from there.”
The opening stage of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour was controlled until the chaotic finale. Minke van Dongen (Swabo Ladies) slipped away solo and gained nearly two minutes before Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo Liv) bridged across to the lone leader.
The pair had nearly five minutes on the peloton with 40 kilometres still to race.
“It was only two people, a small break, and we believed it would end in a bunch sprint,” said Dideriksen. “It never really got stressed. When it was time to chase, all the teams worked a bit together to catch it.”
“We were planning to sprint for Chantal because there was no wind at all,” Dideriksen explained. “We couldn’t do echelons or anything to split it, and with the team time trial tomorrow, we didn’t want to waste our energy today.”
Ten kilometres from the finish, the peloton had shut down the escape, and Boels Dolmans Cycling Team readied for the sprint.
While Dideriksen was the unexpected sprinter in Tiel on Tuesday, her win is not entirely surprising. The Dane sprinted to fourth place on stage four of the Aviva Women’s Tour in June and to sixth place, second in the bunch, on stage three.
Dideriksen last raced on the road in early July. She played an integral part of Megan Guarnier’s Giro Rosa win before turning her attention to her ambitions on the track at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Riding for Denmark, Dideriksen strung together a brilliant series of races to come in fifth place in the omnium.
“I was in good shape in Rio, and I tried to keep that shape,” she said. “I’m still training, and I hoped my form would be here. I got a little sick when I got home, so I didn’t know what to expect. I’m really happy I could win today.”
Boels Dolmans Cycling Team is aiming for a second straight stage win at the Boels Rental Ladies Tour on Wednesday in the team time trial.
“It doesn’t matter if I keep the jersey or if I give it to one of my teammates,” said Dideriksen. “It only matters that it stays in the team. I came here to be one of the workers for the others, and that’s still my intention. The last stage will be really hard and suits some of my teammates better than me.”