Poidevin seventh in Ardèche opener, White takes purple jersey

GC begins to take shape earlier than expected

3 weeks ago by Tom Owen

An action-packed first stage of the Tour de L’Ardèche in France delivered a top 10 stage placing for GC-hopeful Sara Poidevin and the intermediate sprint jersey for Emma White.

While the peloton was blown to pieces on the main climb of the day and the eventual stage win came from a daring solo attack by Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana), Poidevin crossed the line in seventh from the pursuing group, securing a fantastic start to her general classification campaign. She sits seven seconds down on the race lead with six stages remaining.

Poidevin, who has placed sixth on GC at the Tour de L’Ardèche in the past, managed to stay with the elite move that chased down Garcia on the run into Bourg-Saint-Andéol.

An elite group of climbers formed on the early slopes of the final climb.

“Myself and two other girls tried to hold Mavi’s wheel on the final climb, but she was able to pull away. Over the top of the climb, the group swelled and we worked hard to bring down the gap. The group eventually became disorganized as we got closer to the finish, so it became more about gaining time on the peloton behind.

“I felt great today and am looking forward to battle it out in the mountains for the rest of the week.”

Rally Cycling’s women were active right from the gun, with both Emma White and Chloe Hosking getting in the mix for the intermediate sprints classification.

The stage featured three intermediate sprints known as ‘rushes’ along the route and White did enough to gain the lead – and the 2020 race’s first purple jersey.

White’s main competition for the intermediate sprint points was Tanja Erath (Canyon-SRAM).

Team director Joanne Kiesanowski was pleased with the team’s performance following the stage.

“Going for the sprints jersey was always a goal so we’re delighted to have taken that away from the first stage. Emma did a great job and was backed up well by Chloe. We’re also really happy with Sara’s performance on the main climb. It’s a great start to our GC ambitions.”

Stage 2 is a really tough test with five categorized climbs on the menu as the peloton heads up to Font d’Urle.