Simac Ladies Tour stage 2: Lorena Wiebes doubles up in Ede
Laura Tomasi and Lonneke Uneken round out the podium, but nobody can match Wiebes.
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Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) won her second stage in as many days at the Simac Ladies Tour, again proving unbeatable in the sprint in Ede.
The Dutch rider hit the front early, but her turn of speed still saw her hold off Laura Tomasi (UAE Team ADQ) and Lonneke Uneken (SD Worx) to the line.
After attacking in the first 10km of the stage, a three-rider breakaway of Georgia Baker (BikeExchange-Jayco), Lieke Nooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg), and Senne Knaven (AG Insurance-NXTG) spent most of the day up the road but all three were caught by the final 15km.
How it happened
Stage 2 of the Simac Ladies Tour took in another flat day of racing in the Netherlands, with the peloton tackling three laps of a 40km circuit around the town of Ede. Away from the coast in the center of the Netherlands, and on a relatively still day, there was little chance of crosswinds to make the day too difficult before an expected bunch sprint.
The first breakaway of the day went within the opening 10km of the stage when Georgia Baker (BikeExchange-Jayco), Lieke Nooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg), and Senne Knaven (AG Insurance-NXTG) escaped the peloton, building an advantage of a minute and 20 seconds in the first 30km of racing. Behind, Clara Lundmark (GT Krush Tunap) counterattacked from the peloton in pursuit of the leaders and came within 10 seconds of the trio but couldn’t quite bridge the gap and began to fall back after nearly 20km of trying.
After an opening stage affected by crashes and crosswinds, the peloton seemed happy to relax on stage 2 and allowed the situation to settle, letting the break go two minutes up the road whilst Jumbo-Visma kept things in control on the front of the bunch. The situation remained stable for much of the middle portion of the stage, but going into the last 50km of the stage the leaders were only a minute ahead of the DSM-controlled peloton.
🚴♀️🥇@lorenawiebes🇳🇱 @TeamDSM strikes again. The leader @SimacDS Ladies Tour wins also stage 2 Ede-Ede 🛣117,8 km. 🥈Laura Tomasi🇮🇹@UAETeamADQ 🥉@LonnekeUneken🇳🇱 @teamsdworx
4 Mylene de Zoete🇳🇱 @aginsurancenxtg 5 @BarbieriRachele🇮🇹 @LivRacingXstra #SLT2022 #UCIWWT pic.twitter.com/Ra8XaPDQvj
— Simac Ladies Tour (@ladiestour) August 31, 2022
With 39km to go, Knaven was dropped from the breakaway and soon after her return to the peloton, Anneke Dijkstra (GT Krush Tunap) attacked to try and join the remaining leaders but failed to catch up with the front of the race. Going into the final 30km of road, the leading duo began to attack each other which saw, Commonwealth Games champion, Baker drop Nooijen — who then joined Dijkstra — but the Australian held only a 30-second advantage over the peloton.
Behind in the peloton, a crash saw Emilia Fahlin (FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope) and Susanne Andersen (Uno-X) on the ground. The Swedish rider was able to continue and rode to the finish, but Andersen abandoned after being seen by the race medical team. The crash seemed to slow the peloton slightly, as Baker’s advantage briefly went out to a minute with 20km to go after Nooijen and Dijkstra were caught.
However, Team DSM, Canyon-SRAM, and Jumbo-Visma soon upped the pace again and began to reel Baker back in. Baker was finally caught with 15km remaining, and Team DSM got into position in anticipation of a bunch sprint. BikeExchange-Jayco, Jumbo Visma, and Trek-Segafredo were all also trying to organize themselves in the final 10km, looking for a way to better Wiebes.
Despite the two small rises in the final 10km of the stage, there were no last-minute attacks and all was together for a sprint going into the last 3km of road, with Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) leading the peloton towards the finale. Wiebes lost her final lead-out rider Charlotte Kool in the final 500m, so was forced to hit the front early. It was a relatively long sprint for Wiebes, but her sprint proved unassailable, crossing the line ahead of Tomasi and Uneken to take her second win in a row.
The bonus seconds on the line see Wiebes extend her overall lead to 15 seconds ahead of Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo-Visma), as well as leading the points classification. Swinkels retains the climber’s jersey, whilst Uneken becomes the best young rider.
Tomorrow’s third stage is again set on laps — this time two and a half 60km loops around Gennep — and features the most significant climb so far, the 2.1km Mookerheide climb at an average of 3.2%. The rise could offer a chance for attacks to go, but it is also far enough from the finish that another bunch sprint could well be expected on stage 3.
Results will be available once stage has completed.