Before today’s stage, it looked a certainty that Lorena Wiebes would take her 3rd stage win of the race but Team DSM switched the plan. Lorena Wiebes led out her teammate Charlotte Kool, who is poised to become the team’s sprinter when Wiebes leaves in 2023, for a comfortable 1-2 finish for Team DSM ahead of everyone else in the peloton.
The break on today’s stage starting and finishing in Gennep took a little while to form. Only after Lorena Wiebes took 5 Queen of the Mountains points did 4 riders manage to get a gap. They were Daniek Hengeveld, Eline van Rooijen, Justine Ghekiere and Sophie Wright. They were only allowed a gap of 1 minute before being pulled back into the peloton before the live coverage started. With 50km left to race, the situation was just one big bunch.
Despite a flurry of attacks from teams. Team DSM was able to either close the gap or get a rider in a group and nothing was allowed to get clear for very long. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio appeared to get some daylight but once other riders tried to join her, the gap swiftly disappeared. At this point, everything switched to the lead out trains once more.
“Actually, this was our surprise today, that we were going to sprint for Charlotte. Our idea was to switch positions before the last corner. So I was able to put on the sprint. I was also able to join her in her wheel, so it’s a nice 1-2.”Lorena Wiebes
Under the flamme rouge, we saw Lorena Wiebes moving up to the front very early but over the final crest, it was clear that Kool was in her wheel. Wiebes peeled across and measured her sprint to ensure that Kool was ahead of her, but no one else and the Dutch rider raised her arms aloft in celebration at the finish line. Wiebes took more bonus seconds with her 2nd place and increased her lead in the general classification. Behind the DSM pair, Georgia Baker finished 3rd on today’s stage.
“If you look at our lead-out, it had to be fine. It’s great that we can do it like this and that it works,” said the winner. “It’s great that it can also be done the other way around. We already had two great wins this round, and have to compliment the rest of the team as well.”Charlotte Kool