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Of course Alison Jackson won the Vuelta stage on Int’l Dance Day

The EF Education – Cannondale took a brilliant win after a perfect leadout in Stage 2

Of course Alison Jackson won the Vuelta stage on Int’l Dance Day Photo by: EF Education Cannondale

Reason 2,389 that we live in a simulation: Alison Jackson took her first Grand Tour stage win on International Dance Day. (Who even knew that was a thing, and yet, why am I not surprised? There’s a day for everything, amirite? And that’s what April 29 is.)

Jackson received an excellent leadout from Kristen Faulkner and clinched a thrilling victory in the sprint finish at the Vuelta España Femenina. The national champion beat Blanka Vas (Team SD Worx-Protime), with Karlijn Swinkels (UAE Team ADQ) taking third.

The race covered 118.0 km from Bunol to Moncofar. Jackson is now sitting second overall, just eight seconds behind Blanka. Her victory also catapults her to the top of the points competition.

“I came in with a real fire to win this, even starting with the rain,” Jackson said after. “Basically, I was just in the right position at the right time. With teammates to take care of me right from the beginning to the finish. I got to choose my sprint, when I wanted it to happen. It’s just unbelievable to come with the win.”

As she rode from the finish line to the team car, an EF staffer let her know the news. “Hey, do you know, seriously, today is International Dance Day?”

“Shut the front door,” Jackson said. “It’s absolutely International Dance Day!”

The Vermilion, Alta. rider then asked all her fans to send in all their best dances to commemorate the win.

At dinner, when the EF-Education gang had dinner and it was time to celebrate, the riders and staff clearly understood the assignment: dance party time.

The Vuelta kicked off on Sunday with a team time trial. Despite a crash marring their finish, the Lidl-Trek women secured victory in Valencia. Gaia Realini of Italy donned the coveted first red leader’s jersey. This marks the inaugural Grand Tour of the 2024 UCI Women’s WorldTour and the 10th edition of the race. Spanning eight stages, it is one stage longer than the 2023 edition.

“I had a bit of a disappointing spring,” Jackson added. “I really wanted to have a key race, going into Roubaix again, but yeah you can only control what you can control. The team has come more and more together as the season goes, and coming into the Vuelta I just had a lot of fire. I was going to do anything it took to do my best to get this win and the team super believed in me, from staff to riders and I totally took that to heart. To have a win at The Vuelta a España is another big thing.”

The 2024 course featured a slightly longer team time trial compared to last year’s, spanning 16 km around Valencia, with an intermediate time check at the 8-km mark.

Other Canadians racing include Olivia Baril, Maggie Coles-Lyster from Roland, and a trio from EF Education-Cannondale including Clara Emond and Magdeleine Vallieres, as well as Adèle Normand from Eneicat-CMTeam.

The Spanish race has six stages remaining, with Tuesday’s 131.0 km stage from Lucena to Teruel featuring challenging terrain. You can watch the Vuelta España Femenina on FloBikes.com