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Meijering Takes Lead in Extremadura after Tactical Moves by Lidl Trek and Movistar Team

In the second stage Vuelta a Extremadura, the Women’s WorldTour teams taking part displayed strategic prowess, resulting in a significant day for them. The race, commencing in the chilly Plaza Mayor de Trujillo amidst rain, faced alterations due to snow, cancelling the final ascent to Pico Villuercas. Olivia Baril of Movistar dominated the early sprints, accumulating bonus seconds after her win yesterday.

The race dynamics intensified as a quintet, featuring representatives from Coop Repsol, Arkea B&B, Movistar, Winspace, and Lidl Trek, forged ahead. Notably, Movistar’s Mareille Meijering then later bridged the gap, joining the leaders. Meanwhile, the peloton, led by Chapman and Van Dijk saw a few attacking moves but ended up as a stalemate behind. Meijering’s presence in the front group effectively tipped the scales in Movistar’s favour there.

Approaching the final 20 kilometres, a new direction took hold, with Lidl Trek pinning hopes on their Italian climber Gaia Realini. Despite a two-minute gap between the leading groups, Olivia Baril, the race leader, maintained vigilance in the second group for the crucial ascent to Monasterio de Guadalupe, making sure no new riders would bridge over.

An attack at the summit saw Gaia Realini and Mareille Meijering go clear and on the descent, Mejeiring surged ahead, distancing Realini, who struggles on downhill segments. Meijering’s resilience over the final uphill 2km earned her the victory, securing her maiden professional win ahead of Realini, Océane Mahé, Karolina Perekitko, Sigrid Ytterhus Haugset and a supportive teammate in Paula Patiño. Realini’s 20-second deficit places her half a minute behind Meijering in the general classification before the decisive final stage in Zafra, featuring a 17-kilometre individual time trial.

Mareille Meijering
(Photo Credit: Sprint Cycling)

Mareille Meijering’s victory in the second stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a Extremadura propelled her to the race lead, displacing teammate Olivia Baril. Reflecting on her win, Meijering expressed immense joy after a grueling day on the road.

As the race concludes with a challenging individual time trial in Zafra, Meijering aims to defend her lead against a formidable field, including Baril and Chapman. You also can’t rule out Ellen van Dijk, who whilst is the stage favourite will have to close a gap of 2 minutes and 57 seconds to win the GC. The stage promises excitement and suspense as the battle for the overall title unfolds.

2024 Vuelta a Extremadura Stage 2 result

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Main photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency