Marlen Reusser on olympic form
September 2 nd 2021 - 16:32 [GMT + 2]
Silver medallist in the time-trial of the Olympic Games, the Swiss star Marlen Reusser (Ale ́ BTC Ljubljana) carried the form that also saw her shine in the Ladies Tour of Norway (4th) and the Simac Ladies Tour (2nd) to win on Thursday stage 1 of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 21 as she powered to victory on her own in A Rúa, ahead of her breakaway companions
The peloton rolled from the mountain resort of Manzaneda in the morning and faced 117.8km of racing. The pace was high from the start. After a fast first hour (42.9km/h), a group of attackers broke away from the bunch with Pauliena Rooijakkers (Liv Racing) Marlen Reusser (Ale’ BTC Ljubljana), Elise Chabbey (CANYON//SRAM Racing), Lucy Kennedy (Time BikeExchange) and Eric Magnaldi (CERATIZIT WNT). Coryn Rivera (Team DSM) joined them at km 65 to make the break of the day.
The battle went on up the Alto da Portela (cat. 1), the main uphill challenge of the day with 15.2 kilometres at 5.3%. Kennedy and Magnaldi were dropped from the lead group and caught by the peloton, led by Movistar Team and Team SD Worx, with a maximum gap of 2’15’’ with 29km to go.
The terrain was much easier in the second part of the stage. The four attackers still at the front worked well together to maintain a gap of 2 minutes to the bunch. In the final kilometres towards A Rúa, Marlen Reusser opened a small gap to her breakaway companions and claimed victory.
The rider from Ale’ BTC Ljubljana said she didn’t want a sprint against the American Coryn Rivera. The bunch finished with a gap of 1’48’’. Regarding a potential overall victory, Reusser said she will probably lose time to the likes of Anna van der Breggen, Annemiek van Vleuten and Elisa Longo Borghini on Friday’s uphill time trial but she was satisfied with this opening result.