It didn’t take long for Lorena Wiebes to taste victory again. After suffering her first bunch sprint loss since De Panne last season, where a broken spoke meant her wheel rubbed on her frame. The stage kicked off almost instantly with crosswinds across the desert leaving riders exposed as Trek Segafredo upped the pace. A front group containing: Consonni, Wiebes, Cordon-Ragot, Bastianelli, Kool, Schweinberger, Van ‘t Geloof, Williams, Skalniak-Sojka, Longo Borghini, Georgi, Norsgaard, Persico, Hengeveld, Koch, Uneken, Guarischi, De Zoete & Markus.
The group worked well together and swiftly built a lead of around 2 minutes on the larger group 2 on the road before it started to be closed back down again. Group 3 looked at around 5 minutes back on the lead group. The first 70km of racing was flat out, containing plenty of echelons that meant riders couldn’t relax. Riders were slipping backwards between groups and the odd crash also hindered some.
As the race turned into 40km of headwind to the finish, Group 1 backed off and the gap closed down between them and Group 2 bar a last-ditch effort when the groups were just 20 seconds apart. In the meantime, Group 3 were still over 4 minutes behind. It looked like the group but have no chance but they closed the gap as the front group made an entente cordiale into the strong headwind. Despite the presence of GC favourites Marta Cavalli and Kristen Faulkner in the rear group, there seemed to be no interest in killing their GC chances.
The last 20km saw another chance for splits, with the peloton breaking up again as the speed increased. This time Marta Cavalli would lose time, around 30 seconds on the day.
Team DSM looked like they’d set up a strong lead-out train but SD Worx was able to bring up Lorena Wiebes through the work of Barbara Guarischi, dropping her off in the ideal position to accelerate past Kool and take the victory.
“We have shown that we have a good lead-out. DSM set up well on the left, but Barbara brought me perfectly and I was able to drive my sprint the way I wanted. It was a really tough ride, but I felt great. It was very windy. Immediately after the start there were fans and we were with four girls. Everything could come back because of the headwind. I was kept well in front in the final. Tomorrow I hope to survive on the final climb. Hopefully I can do something for Anna Sheckley.”Lorena Wiebes
“I made a mistake just before the last corner. As a result, I was pushed out of Pfeiffer’s wheel and I rode into the wind. That cost me some energy for the sprint. It is a pity that I was not able to finish it, but tomorrow there is another chance. I can’t blame the team,” she ends in a press release from her team. “It was a hectic day, but as a team we were really super strong. The lead-out was even perfect.”Charlotte Kool
Uae Tour Women 2023 Stage 2 results
Results powered by FirstCycling.com