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A Successful Stage One at Tour de Normandie Femmes

Sandra Alonso finishes seventh, while Nina Berton and Kathrin Schweinberger collect QOM and Sprint Jerseys. 

A rolling 139km parcours was the stage for the opening of the first edition of the Tour de Normandie Femmes. The peloton though nervous, with lots of crashes and stayed together for over half of the race. Kathrin Schweinberger, always present for us at the front of the race took our first jersey of the weekend, claiming the France Bleu Sprint jersey.

Kathrin Schweinberger said, "I'm happy with today's racing. After some bad luck recently, getting the sprinters jersey shows that things are finally going in the right direction."

After this, the climbing quickly followed. Nina Berton was up for the challenge. 

Berton praised the help from her teammates, "Today was really hectic race with many tricky corners and crashes. I was not really thinking about grabbing the mountains jersey as my role was to protect our GC riders, but in the first climb, I was really well positioned in order to follow any attacks. In the end, I just thought I would give it a go and I took the first mountain points. Sandra and Kathrin positioned me perfectly in the downhill leading to the second so I went first into the right corner. Then I just followed the other attacks. In the end, I felt good and I was able to outsprint the others for the second mountain prize. So I'm happy to take this jersey and I'm really grateful for the help of the other girls. I think the whole team did a great job today finishing safely in the bunch after an eventful day! Hopefully, tomorrow will be more calm and we will see what we can do."

Entering the local laps, the pace was relentless with constant attacks and counterattacks flying. Cedrine Kerbaol marked all the breakaways well, eventually getting in a small group with around 5km to go. Unfortunately, some of the bigger teams had missed the move and it wasn't allowed to the finish.

Sandra Alsonso was ready and waiting in the peloton to take another top 10 result.

Sandra Alonso explained each rider's part at the finish, "It was a nervous race because the roads in France are small, but I think the whole team did a good job. We were all attentive to what was happening on the road. We had a successful result for Kathrin in the sprint jersey, Nina in the QOM jersey, Cedrine managed the breaks and Laura helped us all, and I had a good finale. I think we can improve on today's results and we will for sure go for it over the upcoming two stages."