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Women’s Tour: Lorena Wiebes sprints to victory in Southend-on-Sea

Lorena Wiebes took victory ahead of Chiara Consonni and Chloe Hosking as Demi Vollering maintains her race lead.

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SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, UK (VN) — Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) kept up the run of Dutch victories at the Women’s Tour with a bunch sprint win on stage 4 into Southend-on-Sea in front of big crowds on the seafront.

Chiara Consonni (Valcar-Travel & Service) finished second with Chloe Hosking (Trek-Segafredo) third.

“It was a really good day. The last meters were a lot of chaos, I lost my train and I had to find my way in the peloton. I opened up my sprint and it was all good,” Wiebes said.

“It was a really fast start and during the stage also. We also went as a team for the intermediate sprints to keep Juliette [Labous] on the podium and that also went really good. It has been a really good day for the team. We will really go for the next stages, and we will see how it goes.”

The early part of the 117.8k stage from Shoeburyness to Southend-on-Sea was marked by a solo attack from Janneke Ensing (Team BikeExchange). After mopping up the points at the first sprint, Ensing was reeled back in and Lourdes Oyarbide (Movistar) launched a move but she too was brought back with 37km to go.

Team DSM was one of several teams working to ensure the second bunch sprint of the week after the opening day of action. There were plenty of riders that were not content to let the race roll into town as one and the final 12km brought several attacks.

It wasn’t to be for the attackers as they reeled in and a bunch gallop along the seafront became inevitable. After initially losing her lead out, Wiebes reunited with them in time to be dispatched to the head of the bunch in the final few hundred meters.

Wiebes took the sprint from the front, using her pace to outkick Consonni and Hosking.

Fighting back

Wiebes has enjoyed a strong season in 2021, with two stage victories at the Giro d’Italia Donne, and a win at Scheldeprijs earlier in the year. However, the latter part of her season has been affected by a heavy crash at the Simac Ladies Tour.

“I have also had some setbacks this year with crashes. I’m happy that I’ve fought all the way back and I’m happy that the shape is good now and I hope to end the season in a good way,” Wiebes said.

“I really can make some steps forward and I’m ready for that. I’m working towards the next Olympic Games. I learned a lot from this team, we really worked on the lead out and I know more [about] my strength now. My strength is my sprint and now I know how to time it and also work with the lead out.”

Demi Vollering (SD Worx) finished safely within the bunch to maintain her substantial lead in the overall classification. She currently leads Labous by 1:09 following her dominant win in Wednesday’s time trial.

“It was actually not too hard today. A lot of riders wanted to go out [on the attack],” Vollering said. “In the beginning, it was really hard and then there were two out, but in the end, lots of other teams wanted to sprint here, so we weren’t the only ones who wanted to keep the bunch together, so it was a bit easier for us. In the end, we wanted to sprint for Amy, so it was a nice day again.”

Two stages of the Women’s Tour remain with the peloton headed to Colchester for the start of stage 5, which will finish in Clacton.

Results will be available once stage has completed.

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