An intriguing 135 kilometre long stage from Casale Monferrato to Ovada lay ahead of the riders this afternoon as they rolled out of the neutralised zone. The opening half of the day would see them take on flatter roads before the latter half was littered with several tricky and punchy climbs, enticing those looking to go on the attack, leading into a flatter finale.
Like yesterday, it was a cagey affair in the opening part of the day, with only a handful of breakaway attempts made and as a result everything was together as the race headed towards the hills. Always active at the front, the team were attentive in some early moves before a strong quartet managed to escape with around 50 kilometres, with Liane Lippert riding well to make the break for the team.
Lippert and her breakaway companions worked well together and increased their advantage over the reduced peloton behind. Their gap continued to grow and heading into the last five kilometres, with a four minute lead, it was clear they would fight it out for the stage win. The group continued to ride through and off until the flamme rouge where things became tactical and the pace slowed, with the riders all marking each other closely. Despite a few probing accelerations, the stage came down to a four-up sprint, with Lippert going as deep as she could all the way to the line and taking a strong third place on the day. In the chasing peloton behind, Coryn Rivera showed her good legs as well with a nice kick to the line, making it a double top ten for the team with her sixth place finish.
“It was a rainy day out there today and it was definitely one for the breakaway because of that, plus the route was always up-and-down,” explained Lippert. “The team did a really good job of positioning us going into the first climb at 75 kilometres. From that point the attacks were going and on the descent a group formed which I got in. Some riders came back but the attacks started again and I managed to get in those; so it was a busy day. I think we were in the break for the last 60 kilometres so it was a hard day and I just did my turns. In the end it came down to a sprint where I managed to get third place. Of course you always want more, but if I look to the two riders ahead of me, they’re just a bit stronger and more experienced in the sprint than me, so I think we can be satisfied with the result today.”
Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “We once again did another good race today. From the moment that the race exploded, we were there covering the attacks and going on the offensive too. In the final there was a bit of a headwind and on the big roads it wasn’t ideal to go on the attack. Therefore, we hoped that we could surprise in the sprint but it didn’t work out fully for the win. Nonetheless, Liane did a really nice ride today to finish third for us and we can take confidence with us into the coming days.”
Stage General classification Points classification Youth classification Mountains classification Teams classification
|1||VOS Marianne||Team Jumbo-Visma Women||3:40:24||25|
|2||BRAND Lucinda||Trek-Segafredo Women||,,||20|
|3||LIPPERT Liane||Team DSM||,,||15|
Photo Credit: Cor Vos