Heading into the first race, previous champion Amalie Winther Olsen was looking to make a positive start. In order to defend her title, the Dane would need to hold off attacks from a strong group of riders all looking to knock Winther Olsen off the top spot.
Watch the video to find out what happened!
Starting the day with a test of strength and timing, the Women took on the Elimination Race. Jenny Holl fell off the back of on lap 2 and was unable to make up the metres. The usually-consistent Scot was the first to be eliminated from the race, relegating her to last place. The fight for fifth remained tight until 50m from the line when Slovakian rider Tereza Medved’ová suffered from the increased pace and dropped off as the pack sped away. The Slovakian’s first race in the virtual world ended with 2 points allocated to her tally.
Britain’s Zoe Backstedt was eliminated next. The 16-year old from Wales was beaten to the line by the black jersey of Amalie Winther Olsen. With podium places up for grabs, the virtual experience of Dronova and Winther Olsen was evident. Debutant Abbie Dentus lost out in the battle for the top two spots, unable to nip in front of Dronova to maintain her place in the race.
The two riders came into the home straight side-by-side, yet it was the strength of the Russian that made the difference. Winther Olsen lost at her own game as Dronova came through late to take the win. An impressive victory.
Winther Olsen commented ‘I knew who I was going to keep an eye on. All the girls were so strong and it was pretty close at every elimination. I tried really hard to concentrate and give it my very best. I didn’t get away with a win but I did everything I could, Tamara was just too strong!’
With all riders in contention to take full points at the end, the race was a close-knit affair. The riders remained close together, not prepared to give any rider the opportunity to attack. Zoe Backstedt and Amalie Winther Olsen attacked with three laps to go, however, strong riding from Jenny Holl brought the bunch back together. Holl continued to come right over the top of the field down the home straight to take a brilliant win. All six riders were in contention, yet it was Holl, followed by Winther Olsen and Backstedt that took the podium places.
At the end of Day 1, it is Amalie Winther Olsen that leads by 2 points from Tamara Dronova. A great win for Jenny Holl has pushed her up to third after a disappointing 6th place in the Elimination Race.