Drummond sprints to victory on Volta a Portugal Feminina opener

The Volta a Portugal Feminina commenced with Michaela Drummond emerging victorious in the opening stage. The New Zealander became the first GC leader of the race, conquering the 96.4 km route from Canelas to Águeda. Drummond clinched the win after a high-speed race along the flat roads. Despite the heat and the rapid pace, which saw several riders drop off the main group, no one managed to break away from the peloton. It’s the 2nd UCI win of the season for Drummond.

The Arkéa-B&B Hotels team dominated the race, controlling the peloton and securing victories in all intermediate sprints through Marie Le Deunff. The French squad’s strategy placed their riders perfectly for the final sprint on a slight incline. Drummond rewarded her team’s effort by finishing first with a time of 2h22m45s, averaging 40.518 km/h. She was closely followed by her teammate Maurene Tregouet in second place, while India Grangier took third.

With the time bonuses from the stage and the intermediate sprint, Drummond leads the general classification by six seconds over Tregouet, with Grangier trailing by eight seconds.

“It’s a very important and symbolic victory for me because we started from Canelas, where my boyfriend, Rui Oliveira, lives. The team worked very hard for me, putting me in a perfect position at the start of the climb. Portugal is my second home. I’m really happy with this victory,” Drummond shared, adding that she doesn’t aim to contest the overall classification.

Drummond elaborated, “I’m not sure what to expect for the rest of the week. We have to see how things go on the climbs, but our team has two excellent climbers. We aim to win the general classification, but my focus will be on the sprint finishes.”

The Arkéa-B&B Hotels team made a strong start to the competition, not only leading the team classification but also securing the first position in the mountain classification through Marie Le Deunff. Additionally, Maurene Tregouet holds the white youth jersey for the best young rider.

Portuguese cyclist Daniela Campos finished seventh, making her the top Portuguese rider of the day. Mariana Líbano came in 13th. Both riders are 12 seconds behind Drummond in the general classification.

The second stage, scheduled for Thursday, covers 119.9 km from Mealhada to Sever do Vouga, with a second-category mountain finish that promises to clarify the main contenders for the overall classification.

2024 Volta a Portugal Feminina Stage 1 result

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