The Healthy Ageing Tour got underway today at the TT Circuit Assen, with the peloton taking on 28 laps of the famous motorcycle race track. With its wide sweeping corners and mostly flat profile, the stage was expected to end in a sprint, with only strong winds likely to split the bunch.
As the flag dropped and the peloton rolled out from the start line, a steady pace was set at the front of the group and no breakaway was able to form in the opening kilometres. The team remained attentive to any dangerous attempts, but rode well together as a unit, conserving energy as the stage progressed. A few attackers managed to get a small gap out front but the peloton was always in control, and the race was all back together heading into the final 15 kilometres.
The team slowly made their way through the bunch, utilising their energy well while sheltering from the wind, bringing sprinter Lorena Wiebes up towards the front of the peloton. Entering the final lap the intensity within the bunch increased drastically as they put the power down to catch the late lone attacker, with the team stringing the peloton out.
Coming into the final corner with 250 metres to go the catch was made, and Wiebes looked in prime position in second wheel to unleash her trademark powerful sprint after being brought to the front expertly by the team. Unfortunately, after a touch of wheels with the rider in front of her, Wiebes crashed on the final straight but much to the relief of everyone, she was able to get back on her bike and finish the stage.
“We had the goal to nail the lead out for Lorena today so that we could compete for the win. We used some of the earlier laps to practice how we should do it in the final and that went well. In the end, Lorena was there in a perfect position but unfortunately hit the ground hard, but she feels lucky that it didn’t go worse and is feeling better. We will take the good points from today with us for the next stages.”Susanne Andersen
“We had the race under control and road really well together and all of a sudden Lorena was on the ground. Sportive wise it’s a disappointment, but the good thing in the end is that she’s pretty okay and not too badly injured. With the crash she had it could have been a lot worse, so we’re relieved. We were up there and battling for the win so that’s a positive that we can take into the coming days.”Hans Timmerman
|1||D’HOORE Jolien||SD Worx||3:14:03||16|
|2||BARNES Alice||Canyon SRAM Racing||,,||12|
|3||SWINKELS Karlijn||Team Jumbo-Visma Women||,,||8|
Photo Credit: Cor Vos