Columbia's Anke Wichmann clinched her first win of the season when she out-sprinted fellow German Sarah Düster at the end of stage three of the Holland Ladies Tour. The two were part of a earlier six-rider break, but Wichmann and Duster used a cobbled section eight kilometres from the finish at Roden to go clear and fight it out for the day's victory.
"I'm surprised but very pleased because normally I'm just a team worker and I'm not up there with the winners at the finish, I've done my job before then," Wichmann pointed out. "In fact, I can't remember the last time I won a race!"
"When I got in the break, I stopped working when we got a minute on the bunch, because there were riders in there who could be dangerous for Columbia's GC contenders on the hilly last stage."
"Then when we got towards the finish, I started thinking about how I could get away to try and win the stage. I jumped clear with less than ten kilometres to go, and only Düster could follow me."
"I wasn't too worried about her, because I've raced a lot with her in the past and I know that like me she's not a great sprinter." Düster stopped working in the final kilometre, but Wichmann stayed behind, and with 500 metres to go, Düster started to wind things up for the sprint.
"She'd gotten nervous, and I could get past her for the win," Wichmann said. "I'm just very pleased it could all work out in the end!"
Wichmann's breakaway had other benefits apart from the stage win - she moved up to fourth overall.
The Holland Ladies Tour wraps up on Sunday September 7.