On a day fret with crosswind danger, the team remained calm throughout the stage, always alert for any possible danger before turning their attention and focus on the sprint. With a plan for the finale, the team peeled off one-by-one after doing their job expertly, before Wiebes opened up her sprint in sight of the line. Delivering her trademark powerful kick, she stormed across the line, raising her arms aloft to take a great win for the team.
The first ever edition of Scheldeprijs for the Women’s peloton got underway today in Schoten, with rainy and overcast conditions overhead. The strong winds made for a nervous and fast start, with the peloton splitting early in the race and a group of around 20 riders getting clear. Pfeiffer Georgi, Julia Soek and Lorena Wiebes were attentive to the danger and made the split for the team. This saw a hard chase by the peloton over the opening hour of racing but with 70 kilometres to go the race was all back together again.
More crashes marred the race as the bunch headed towards the closing circuits with 45 kilometres to go, and a solo rider broke clear. Esmée Peperkamp and Wilma Olausson exchanged turns at the front, riding well together to reduce the gap to breakaway rider Hengeveld and with ten kilometres to go it was all back together. Focus switched to bringing Wiebes into a good position for the finale, with the team manoeuvring through the peloton well as a unit.
Soek and Georgi strung things out, before pilot-fish Susanne Andersen took over, expertly guiding Wiebes in the hectic closing kilometres. Coming under the flamme rouge the duo sat on the wheels of the other sprint trains before Andersen opened up her final effort with Wiebes in tow. Launching her trademark powerful kick, Wiebes stamped on the pedals with the finish line banner in sight, powering over the line on her Scott Addict RC to take Team DSM Women’s program first win of the year.
“Today was a really nice race with a good parcours and we knew it could be a good race for us,” explained Wiebes at the finish. “There was some wind in some parts of the day but not really enough to make a difference. At the end, the sprint was pretty chaotic but the team did a great job to put me in a good position for the finish and I could sprint to the line. It’s a really nice feeling to win this race for them, we’ve been close so far this year so it’s great to finally get one today.”
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