After an impressive week, Lorena Wiebes confirmed her GC victory in the Simac Ladies Tour in Arnhem today. Finishing 3rd on the stage was enough to ensure her 6-second time-gap increased to 10 seconds over Audrey Cordon-Ragot and secured a win that looked set after a great time trial yesterday. Whilst Wiebes finished 3rd, SD Worx-bound Mischa Bredewold won the stage, her first win of the season, ahead of Eleonora Gasparrini of Valcar.
Today’s stage saw the riders take on a 14km local lap 7 times before turning to central Arnhem for a different 8km circuit on 5 occasions. With bonus seconds available at the sprints, there was an outside chance that Trek’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot could take over the GC but despite being briefly isolated, Lorena Wiebes was untroubled during the stage.
4 riders joined the early breakaway, Maelle Grossetete, Jeanne Korevaar, Kirstie van Haaften and Eline van Rooijen. Between them for a battle for the mountains jersey, which was settled for Kirstie van Haaften. The peloton closed them down and split itself in the process. It was here where Wiebes was alert but isolated. That kicked off attacks with riders keen to put Wiebes under pressure. A new break formed after 60km with Amanda Spratt, Elynor Backstedt and Soraya Paladin, certainly a strong one. With the lead reaching 1 minute, that brought Spratt and Paladin into GC contention themselves.
With the gap going out to 3 minutes at 50km to go, both Team DSM and Jumbo-Visma began to work to protect their interests. With Jumbo-Visma’s assistance, the gap began to come down again. 20 kilometres later the gap was still 2 minutes but it appeared theirs was going to be a lost battle. At 15km to go, this break was finally caught. The odds now suggested that we would see another sprint.
“I surprised myself positively this week in the Limburg stage and the time trial. It proves that I have taken a step as a rider. Of course, I will continue to focus on my sprint. But I can also do it on more difficult terrain. It would have been nice to sprint to victory here again, but I can also live with this. The overall victory was paramount today.”Lorena Wiebes
At 5km to go, however, we saw a repeat of Riejanne Markus’ successful break for a stage win. Mischa Bredewold got a gap and was joined by Eleonora Gasparrini. The pair were able to hold off the peloton and sprint for a WWT win, with Bredewold having the fastest legs on the day.
“It’s unbelievable that it works. I felt so strong today and had a good ally in Gasparrini. She can also gain weight, so I wasn’t sure at all. But I’m just winning a race from the Women’s WorldTour here.
I am going to make a very nice step and I am happy that I can still give this to my Parkhotel team as a kind of farewell gift. I would like to thank Raymond Rol and Bart Faes for the opportunity they gave me two years ago.“Mischa Bredewold