Lorena Wiebes sprints to second place in crashed marred Exterioo Classic

Lorena Wiebes sprints to second place in crashed marred Exterioo Classic

The Exterioo Classic saw the riders take on a 162 kilometres long route between Brugge and de Panne. The first riders got away not long after the official start was given, the break of the day formed in several different stages and eventually contained six riders. The leaders never managed to get a gap of more than one minute over the peloton.

With 75 kilometres to go the group was reeled back in again by the chasing peloton. The bunch wasn’t too happy with the attacks and neutralised them right away. The pace in the group was so high that it would prove impossible to attack. Lorena Wiebes had a puncture with 45 kilometres to go but swiftly returned to the pack.

When the race entered the Moeren, the bunch sped up but the lack of wind made it impossible to form echelons. The peloton was split up by a crash which saw half of the riders either down or held up. Wiebes avoided the crash and had Charlotte Kool and Leah Kirchmann in the group for support. Kirchmann did a fantastic job neutralising the attacks, setting up a bunch of sprints for Wiebes. Unfortunately, Kool had a small crash in the final kilometres, ruling her out from leading out the sprint. Wiebes had to surf the wheels and ended up sprinting to second place.

Lorena Wiebes said: “I think we did a good job today. In the beginning, Esmée controlled the peloton. Luck was not on our side tough when we lost Léa and Megan in the big crash. Luckily I was able to stay on my bike, but someone touched my wheel and a spoke broke. There was no time to change bikes so I had to continue. Leah did a really good job controlling all the attacks and Charlotte and I stayed together in a good position. Unfortunately, another crash took Charlotte out, so I had to find my way in the sprint. I am a bit disappointed with the second place as we of course all wanted to win, but I’m happy with the work of the team and there will be new chances on Sunday“

Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “It was an okay day for us as a team. We did what we could controlling the race with Esmée at the start. It was a very nervous day and we lost three riders in the big crash and Charlotte also crashed in the finale. In the end Lorena sprints to second place with a broken wheel from the big crash. We just had a lot of bad luck and didn’t do anything wrong today, so we have to be happy with this second place.”