The time trial specialist puts herself in good position for the final podium in the Simac Ladies Tour
Ellen van Dijk powered through the 17-kilometer time trial in Stage 2 at the Simac Ladies Tour and crossed the line with the second-fastest time behind Olympic silver medalist Marlen Reusser. It was short of the win, but launched van Dijk into the lead in the points competition and placed her in a close position for overall victory.
The straightforward course suited the specialists, and the two favorites pinned for Stage 2 put on a display of pure power.
“My time trial went well. I was really curious to see where I’m standing at the moment, and my power values were good, so I’m happy with that,” said van Dijk. “So I am satisfied with my own performance. After the prologue, I was really happy with second place, but now not so much.
“For sure, I was hoping that I would be really close to Marlen and we would battle for the win, but she clearly showed that she was better today, especially on a course like this which was just a power test, out and back, so kudos to her. That’s time trialing; the times don’t lie on a course like this. I was hoping to be closer, but Marlen was super strong.”
Van Dijk crossed the line in 20:59, 18 seconds behind Reusser, with an average speed of 48.6 km/h – incredibly fast. But the Swiss sped through the out and back course in an unbelievable 49.3 km/h – stopping the clock in 20:41 to take a 12 second lead over Van Dijk in the overall standings.
“The speed showed that the level was really high. I think we had an average speed around 48/49kph. Marlen showed why she was second at the Olympics. She’s been in great form for a while,” added Van Dijk. “For me, it’s a good sign for me to towards the Europeans and Worlds.”
With two individual time trials completed and three stages remaining in the six-day tour, the overall classification has been shaped but is certainly not set. “The next three stages will be challenging also,” pointed out van Dijk. “I expect a lot of attacks from other teams because there are quite big gaps on the GC. I expect a lot of action.”
The wind was an element to deal with in the time trial, however, van Dijk does not expect it to play a big part in the next three days. Wind or no wind, she is ready to help create serious action in a far-from-finished race and a focus on the overall victory.
“The wind is always a factor, but the stages are not really made for echelons. I don’t think the wind will play such a big part of the next days because there is a lot of twisting and turning with local laps,” she explained. “Tomorrow is completely flat, and the two days after are very hilly, so anything can happen. If a group goes then, they can take a couple of minutes. I don’t think the GC is set yet. We’re definitely going to fight for it, and it will be exciting!”