Ellen van Dijk and Audrey Cordon-Ragot defend GC positions on final stage in Belgium
A breakaway animated the final stage in the Baloise Ladies Tour but the Trek-Segafredo team, with help from Team DSM in the ending kilometers, controlled the three leaders and successfully defended Ellen van Dijk’s leader jersey and the third-place of Audrey Cordon-Ragot on the final day.
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) won the stage – an impressive fourth victory in the race – while Trek-Segafredo earned the first and third steps on the final podium, a testament to the strength of the team in the five-day tour.
“It was really nice to bring the GC home and even better to share the podium with Audrey. It has been a nice week with the team, and good working with Markel (Irizar) for the first time as a team director. He kept us focused and strong,” said van Dijk. “The team controlled the race really well. They were in the front all day and took care of everything.
“First the goal was to bring the GC home and that worked out well. It was nice there was a break gone so in the end we didn’t have to pull as a team which was really good. We tried to prepare the sprint for Chloe (Hosking) in the end as a bonus. All went according to plan, and I am happy it was not so stressful. It was a good last day.
“All in all, it has been a good week. Something that has given good morale and confidence.”
While Wiebes dominated the sprints, Ellen van Dijk governed the time trials to win the overall by 21 seconds over the Team DSM sprinter. Cordon-Ragot, the French time trial champion, rounded out the top three with top finishes in the prologue and time trial.
“I am pretty surprised about this week because I came directly from altitude and normally I have a bit of a breakdown the week after but this time I had really good sensations and power. I had two good time trials, and today it was about staying in position, safe, avoid the crashes, and go to the line,” said Cordon-Ragot.
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) July 17, 2022
It has been a successful month of racing for Trek-Segafredo. The Giro Donne exceeded expectations followed by two stage wins and two on the final podium in the Baloise Ladies Tour. And Trek-Segafredo clinched first in the teams classification.
Up next, the highly anticipated Tour de France Femmes, which starts on the final day of the men’s Tour.
“I am happy with my wins in the time trial and that I could perform well all race,” added van Dijk. “Going into this race I spent 12 days in Switzerland to prepare for the next key period in my race calendar. I did not feel really fit in these last weeks, so it makes me happy that I got the confirmation my form is here.
“The win of course is good, but it also is nice to know my power is good and that gives me confidence for the Tour (de France) which is next. I am looking forward to that. First a couple days at home and then get ready for the next big adventure.”
“It feels really good to be this way just before the Tour,” agreed Cordon-Ragot. “It’s good mentally and will allow us to go for it full gas. Now a little rest and we will be ready for the Champs-Élysées.”