Charlotte Kool won her second stage of the Simac Ladies Tour on Friday, after winning the opening prologue on Tuesday. SD Worx’s Lorena Wiebes finished second behind Kool with Elisa Balsamo (Lidl-Trek) taking third. In a twist of fate, Wiebes (the top sprinter in the women’s peloton with 14 sprint victories this year alone, has now been bested in two sprint stages this week. It was bound to happen eventually and definitely makes things a bit more interesting come stage 5 and the final races of the year.
Lotte Kopecky finished 11th on the stage and kept the overall lead.
How it happened
- A breakaway of three including Anneke Dijkstra (GT Krush Rebellease Pro Cycling), Julie Sap (Lotto-Dstny), and Scarlett Souren (Parkhotel Valkenburg) managed to get a break of over seven minutes, and even as the race approached the final 40 km, with no clear chase in the peloton the escapees looked like they would be vying for the win.
- But as soon as SD Worx hit the front, the break was doomed, and despite their best efforts, the final rider of the three Souren was swept up with 5 km to go.
- DSM-Firmenich and SD Worx were in full flight in the final 5 km but Wiebes had to navigate around Jayco-AlUla in the final meters. Kool’s sprint was timed to perfection and her speed was unmatched in the finale, guaranteeing her a second stage victory of the week.
Brief stage results
GC standings after Stage 3
Quote of the day
There’s been an interesting back and forth between SD Worx and DSM-Firmenich this year when it comes to sprint finishes and who does the work to bring back whoever is off the front. Especially at the Tour de France Femmes, things got heated as SD Worx largely refused to chase and then capitalized off other teams’ efforts. But on Friday in the Netherlands, DSM-Firmenich held firm and forced the top team, and the team with the overall lead, to do the work.
We thought today it’s not up to us to do the chasing and that really turned out well. Normally we do the job but we didn’t have the yellow jersey anymore so it was not up to us to do that, it was time someone else did the chasing.Kool directly after the finish of stage 3
- It was very hot during the stage on Friday and the peloton briefly discussed implementing the hot-weather protocol for the stage, but ultimately it went ahead as planned.
- There were a few crashes throughout the stage, as there usually are when the roads are pan-flat and there’s no wind to speed things up. One incident involved second-placed overall Riejanne Markus, with 10 km to go. Fortunately, the Dutch ITT champion was able to get back into the peloton just two km after her crash on a new bike.
Next up: Stage 4
The queen stage of the Simac Ladies Tour is one to watch. It will take place in Valkenburg and the peloton will take on a lot of climbs featured in the Amstel Gold Race. The winner will be the first one atop the famous Cauberg, where Demi Vollering won the Ardennes Classic earlier in the season.
At 131.6 km, it’s a pretty standard race, not too long, not too short, but the climbs will weigh on the peloton, especially near the end. It is by far the most challenging stage of the sprinter-friendly race and one that will no doubt see movement in the general classification.
Going into the stage the big question remains; Can Kopecky keep the jersey? Her margin is tiny at _ seconds, but the road world champion has proved herself capable of these short explosive climbs (see Worlds road race … and the first stage of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift).
The stage can be watched live on GCN+ starting at 14:30 CEST.
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