Marianne Vos has won two Olympic gold medals - one at Beijing 2008 and one at London 2012 ©Getty Images

Marianne Vos took an early lead in the Holland Ladies Tour as she won the prologue stage in Ede in her first race since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The six-day race started with a short, flat, but technical challenge around the town, which looked to favour sprinter and puncheur-style riders.

The Dutch rider won the 2.4-kilometre prologue by five seconds to finish in front of her compatriot Ellen van Dijk with Denmark's Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig a further second behind to round out the top three.

Jumbo Visma's all-rounder covered the course in 3min 1sec averaging 47.7kph to beat time trial specialist van Dijk.

Vos posted her time relatively early in the order of the day, but no other rider came close to taking her place in the hot seat.

"It is unbelievable that it worked out, because there were a lot of fast riders at the start," said Vos, as reported by Cycling News.

"I already explored the course last Friday, but during the race it always feels different.

"It is important that you know the course almost by heart, that you almost know it backwards, so to speak.

Ellen Van Dijk helped Marianne Vos win gold in the London 2012 women's road race ©Getty Images
Ellen Van Dijk helped Marianne Vos win gold in the London 2012 women's road race ©Getty Images

"The team has also been really busy with the right technique.

"It comes down to the details when the prologue is so short.

"We wanted to go for a stage win, so it is superb that we succeeded."

Another Dutch rider, Lorena Wiebes of Team DSM, was a favourite for the sprint stages heading into the race.

However, she finished in fifth, seven seconds slower than Vos but level with the 2019 overall Tour winner Christine Majerus of Luxembourg.

Germany's Lisa Klein, a favourite for the stage two time trial, finished eight seconds behind the leader.

The Holland Ladies Tour is the 13th of 18 scheduled races in the 2021 International Cycling Union (UCI) Women's WorldTour. 

Tomorrow marks the first road stage of the race with a 134.4km course from Zwolle to Hardenberg that is expected to come down to a bunch sprint.