Belgian rider Jolien D’hoore sprinted to victory on the opening day of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in Suffolk for the second year running, leading a Boels Dolmans Cycling Team one-two across the line after a testing day in gruelling conditions.

D’hoore, winner in Southwold 12 month ago, led home Dutch team-mate Amy Pieters in Stowmarket to take the first OVO Energy green jersey of this year’s race.

The pair were at the head of the peloton that chased down British rider Abby-Mae Parkinson (Drops), who held a one-and-a-half minute lead as the race passed through Stowmarket for the first time, with WNT-ROTOR Pro Cycling’s Lisa Brennauer taking third.

Parkinson’s reward for her efforts that brought the finish crowds in Stowmarket to life on a rain soaked stage was the first Wahooligan Combativity Award of the week.  The Drops rider crossed the finish line 67th, while team-mate Ellie Dickinson was the leading British rider on the stage, finishing 12th.

Speaking afterwards, D’hoore said:

“It was a pretty good day for us – I’m happy I could show it today with the stage win. The team was really strong, and they brought me actually to the perfect position going into the sprint and they dropped me off at 150 metres to go. Amy Pieters got second herself, so it really proves that we are a strong team here.”

Having now take three of her four stage wins in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in the East of England, the Belgian continued:

“I think I like Suffolk now. It’s really nice and also last year was the first stage so there’s the advantage of having all the jerseys now.”

In addition to the race lead, D’hoore also tops the Breast Cancer Care points jersey classification, while her Boels Dolmans team-mate Christine Majerus leads the SKODA Queen of the Mountains jersey.

Defending champion Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) began her campaign by taking the Eisberg sprints jersey on day one and with it six seconds of time bonuses.

Stage one highlights

Support Jolien D’hoore and Breast Cancer Care

Why not show your support for Jolien D’hoore by donating to Boels Dolmans Cycling Team’s Breast Cancer Care JustGiving page?

As well as encouraging their riders to perform at the highest level during the race, you’ll be funding vital research and support for breast cancer patients overseen by our official charity partner.

Results

Click here for full standings from stage one in Suffolk.

Television

Highlights from stage one will air in the UK on ITV4 at 20:00 on Monday and are repeated at 06:25 on Tuesday morning.

Each show will be available on the ITV Hub (UK residents only) for 30 days.

Click here for details of international TV details.

Stage two details

Cyclopark will make OVO Energy Women’s Tour history this June as it hosts the race’s first-ever Kent stage.

Outlining the race’s support for existing cycle infrastructure in Great Britain, the world’s best riders will tackle a 62.5-kilometre (25-lap) kermesse around the Gravesend circuit on Tuesday 11 June – day two of the 2019 race.

This stage will see Kent play host to its biggest international sporting event since the 2007 Tour de France Grand Depart, which was delivered in part by SweetSpot Group, organiser of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.

Click here to discover the stage.