Ellen Van Dijk races to 2nd in time trial

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!”