The final day of racing at the Lotto Belgium Tour saw the peloton take on the most difficult stage of the week, with the famous cobbled climbs of the Bosberg and Kapelmuur awaiting them. It was a controlled start to the stage, with the team riding well together to ensure that only a small group managed to escape early on. However, as the race charged towards the climbs, the pace and intensity increased and the original group were caught.
A strong seven rider counter attack, featuring second and third placed on GC, broke clear over the first ascent of the Kapelmuur. Riding expertly together and not panicking, the team slowly reeled in those ahead and after some brilliant work in the chase, alongside some other teams, those out front were pulled back; setting up a grandstand finale on the Kapelmuur. With the drastically reduced bunch charging towards the lower slopes, it was Pfeiffer Georgi who led the peloton under the flamme rouge with race leader Lorena Wiebes in tow. Unfortunately, disaster struck for the team as Wiebes got taken out by another rider who fell on cobbles. Quickly remounting, Wiebes pushed as hard as she could all the way to the line but after suffering some mechanical damage, she had to run the final few hundred metres; ending the day just outside the top ten.
Nonetheless, it was a very successful week of racing in Belgium for the team who took away one stage win, several top tens, plus third overall on GC with Wiebes alongside winning the best young rider jersey.
“The team did a really good job and we showed that we’re strong today,” explained Wiebes at the finish. “On the last time up the Kapelmuur, Pfeiffer put me in a really good position but the bad luck was on our side when someone crashed in front of me and took me down. When I was back on the bike I chased as much as I could, but I had some damage from the crash and in the end had to run a bit of the last part. It’s a shame as we rode really well today.”
Team DSM coach Huub Duijn added: “A great race for us, ended in disappointment this afternoon. Today we showed that you can beat really strong riders them with great teamwork and by working together. As a team, the girls were outstanding, and until 500 metres to go our plan was perfectly executed. Unfortunately, Lorena was then taken down on the final kicker to the famous Kapelmuur, and therefore taken out of contention for the day and overall GC victory for us. Luckily, she managed to get back on the bike quickly, and took home third on GC and won the best young rider classification for us. I’m really proud of how the girls rode this week as a team, and with a stage win and third on GC; we can still go home satisfied with our time here.”
Stage General classification Points classification Youth classification Mountains classification Teams classification
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