The women’s Tour de Suisse got off to a perfect start under the eyes of the national defense minister, Viola Amherd. The Swiss road champion Elise Chabbey beat Elizabeth Deignan (GBR) just in the sprint after the 114.3 km of the 1st stage in Frauenfeld and was dressed in the leader’s jersey.
“I’m not the fastest driver in the end. That’s why it was important to me to force a preliminary decision in our escape group”, said Chabbey about her attack 16 km before the end that divided the leading group of the five riders. The attack by the French-speaking Swiss was clever because her team-mate Mikayla Harvey (NZL) understandably showed no interest in closing the gap to the top.
“I don’t like to weigh the victories against each other. The championship title had its story, and this stage success also has its story”, said Chabbey, who showed herself in good spirits to be able to secure the overall victory in the flat stage on Sunday:” We have very fast riders in our team who can snatch the bonus seconds away from the opponents.”
The spectacular 1st stage was shaped by the Swiss women, of whom the mountain bikers who were grouped together in a team made a very strong impression. Jolanda Neff, the 2017 MTB world champion, was part of the leading group for a long time: “I was a bit trapped when Elise attacked. That’s why I couldn’t react right away. I had previously contested my last road race in 2019, and it was very interesting to have to drive in the field for good positions again.”
Marlen Reusser was the third Swiss woman to take part in the preliminary decision – she will contest the time trial as well as the road race at the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo. “I get on well with Elise Chabbey and I watched her attack with a wink.” “I am extremely pleased that she achieved this success.”
Marlen Reusser will contest the 2nd stage on Sunday as well as later cover the 8.8 km of the Tour de Suisse Challenge with her time trial machine.