Boels Dolmans Cycling Team enjoyed the perfect start to the 2019 OVO Energy Women’s Tour, as Belgian rider Jolien D’hoore led home her Dutch team-mate Amy Pieters in a sprint finish in Stowmarket, Suffolk, on Monday.

We spoke to the key players after the rain-soaked stage to get their reaction as the sixth edition of Britain’s most prestigious women’s cycle race got off to a damp but memorable beginning.

Jolien D’hoore (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team), stage winner

“It was a pretty good day for us. It was pretty hard and 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, dropping me off at 150 metres to go. Amy Pieters got second herself, so it really proves that we are a strong team here.

“Our main goal is the stage wins, we’re not really going for GC. But if you’re close in the stages you’re obviously close in GC, so we’ll just take it day-by-day and we’ll see how we go. We have a few strong girls like Amy, Christine Majerus, also Chantal Blaak is really going good, so we just see.

“It was a pretty hard day with the weather. It was important to keep eating and drinking during the day because it was also a long race, it made it really hard because I was pretty cold at one point. Then I went back to the car for a rain vest and some gloves so mentally it was pretty hard today, but I’m happy it was a bunch sprint.”

Lisa Brennaeur (WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling), third

“It was a really wet day, lots of rain and slippery roads but actually the race was pretty quiet. In the final kilometres it got hectic but I got third so I’m happy.”

Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv), fifth

“It was the first day – it’s always nice to get that one going. It was a bit wet in the beginning but definitely a dry finish. It was quick and let’s see tomorrow. It will be faster even so it’s going to be exciting.”

Lisa Klein (Canyon//SRAM Racing), 25th

“It was a tough day, a long one. I tried for some intermediate sprint points to challenge for the Eisberg sprint jersey. Then I prepared the sprint for my team-mate [Elena Cecchini] – we did what we could. It was a tough race and I’m looking forward to hopefully some good racing ahead and hopefully some better legs than today.”

Downloads and links

Click here for the stage one report | Click here for full stage one results