Skylar Schneider (L39ION of Los Angeles) won the opening leg of the Arkansas Tourism Devil’s Den Road Race and earned the first Pro Women’s Leader’s Pink Jersey in the Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race, which kicked off Thursday.

The sunny and warm conditions continued after the men’s road race, as 115 professional women started the 109.2 km (67.8 mi) first stage, the first of four days of the UCI America Tour event, but it was a finish. marred by an accident missing three kilometers from the line of judgment.

“I didn’t know there was an accident, so I hope everyone is okay. It’s a really risky final. I think it’s notorious that something bad often happens in this finish, so we stayed in front to try and stay safe,” said Schneider after claiming victory. “It’s probably one of the fastest sprints we do all year because of the downhill running, but for me, it was just staying calm and doing my best,” commented the race leader.

Her best performance brought her to the finish ahead of Canadian Sarah Van Dam (DNA Pro Cycling) and Cuban Marlies Mejias (UCI Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24), who also earned bonuses en route to the finish line.

The route provided the first points for the mountains prize classification, which were reached in the race in the first half. These fell to Schneider herself, who took all the drives at the top of the climb, ahead of Cynisca Cycling’s Emilie Fortin and Alia Shafi (Fount Cycling Guild).

The field was tight again as the race headed into the lone intermediate sprint. This intermediate prize offered three bonus seconds for Schneider, also winner, escorted by Lauren Stephens (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) and Galen Bolard (3T).