The second day of racing at the Healthy Ageing Tour saw the peloton take on an almost pan-flat 14.4 kilometre long individual time trial in Lauwersoog. With gale force winds forecast last night, the organisers initially postponed the start of the stage was until this afternoon. However, with the wind still strong, it was postponed one hour further and was announced that for rider safety the course would be completed on road bikes.
After her crash yesterday, Lorena Wiebes was one of the first riders down the start ramp, setting the fastest time at the finish and moving into the provisional hotseat before other riders’ bettered her time. Pfeiffer Georgi also set a solid early time but it would be new-rider Esmée Peperkamp who would set the team’s fastest effort of the day; stopping the clock in a good time of 22 minutes and 30 seconds, given the challenging and ever changing wind conditions. Unfortunately, the wind abated for those starting later and Peperkamp would slip down the order as more riders completed their efforts.
Tomorrow’s final stage sees the bunch take on a circuit which features the famous cobbled VAM-berg climb, and is sure to be a hard day out in the saddle.
“The conditions today were very challenging,” explained Peperkamp at the finish. “There was a lot of wind out there on course. Unfortunately, the girls starting in the second half of the race had a lot less wind so we lost quite a lot of places because of that. I tried to give it my all out there, but there is room for improvement and we’ll look to build on that for the future.”
Team DSM coach Hans Timmermans added: “It was quite a strange day with the delay to the start times but in the end it was the same for everyone. The conditions out there were tough with the strong winds, which kept changing. We followed our pacing plans and I’m a bit surprised at some of the gaps today. In general, it was an experience for us and we’ll give it a good go tomorrow in the final stage.”
Photo Credit: Cor Vos