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8th and 9th for Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij secures double top 10 GC finish

The final day of racing at the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta saw the peloton take on a hilly 107 kilometre long stage from As Pontes to Santiago de Compostela, and a punchy finish through the narrow streets. It was a fierce start to the day with multiple attacks at the head of the peloton, as it became a race of attrition and riders dropped from the bunch.

Eventually the elastic snapped and a 16 rider group went clear, with all Team DSM riders in the peloton. However, the tempo stayed high and the breakaway splintered, with 4 riders forming a counter attacking group. Heading into the last ten kilometres the gap stood at around one minute and after a frantic chase, the last remaining attacker was caught on the steep rise through the streets of Santiago de Compostela. It was a full-out effort to the line, with Liane Lippert taking eighth place for the team with Floortje Mackaij just one spot in ninth. With no large time gaps at the finish, Lippert ends the race in a strong fifth on GC while Mackaij takes home a fine eighth place for the team.

“Today was a really hard stage from the beginning,” explained Lippert after the stage. “We only had three riders left so we needed to be smart with how we used our energy today. On the first climb there were teams pulling a really high pace, and the peloton split but it came back together. There was then a long period of attacks where we followed and tried to save our energy in a smart way. At one point a big break went that we weren’t in and Leah helped to chase alongside other teams, as we thought we could get a nice result on the finish. Eventually the last of the break got caught on the final climb, which was shorter than we thought it was originally. We ended up a bit too far back and we couldn’t fight for a top result anymore after we got swamped going into the last corner. In general I’m really proud with how we raced today; we all gave our best and we all kept fighting until the end. I’m happy with my own shape and it’s good to see everyone else in the team on a good level too.”


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