Jolien D'hoore takes Women's Tour lead as she avoids late crashes to win chaotic bunch sprint

Belgian champion bounces back after recent collarbone fracture

Jolien D'hoore wins the opening stage of the 2018 Women's Tour

(Image credit: Justin Stterfield/Getty Images)

Belgian champion Jolien D’hoore won the opening stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour after a chaotic bunch sprint in Suffolk today. The Mitchelton-Scott rider was fastest in the uphill, headwind sprint in Southwold, beating Marta Bastianelli (Alé-Cipollini) and Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb), after a chaotic final.

While the bunch finish was expected, it capped off a strangely passive race, where the main teams were riding for sprint. That meant most of the peloton came to the final's narrow roads and technical coastal lanes feeling fresh, adding to the chaos.

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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.