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Lorena Wiebes: This was my aim from the beginning of the season

PARIS FRANCE JULY 24 Lorena Wiebes of Netherlands and Team DSM Women celebrates at podium as Yellow Leader Jersey winner during the 1st Tour de France Femmes 2022 Stage 1 a 817km stage from Paris Tour Eiffel to Paris Champslyses TDFF UCIWWT on July 24 2022 in Paris France Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) in the yellow jersey after winning stage 1 in Paris, with support of friends of all ages (Image credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Lorena Wiebes has been targeting a win on the Champs-Élysées since the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift route was announced, and today the almost unbeatable sprinter made that goal a reality.

The Dutch rider took the stage win, the yellow jersey and the green jersey after a hard-fought sprint on the tough Paris circuit that left her ‘completely empty’ and on the round after the finish line. 

“I’m really happy that I was finally able to race on the Champs-Élysées,” Wiebes said. “As expected it was a hard race but it feels really special to ride here around Paris and even more special to wear the yellow jersey.”

The Team DSM lead out was once again victorious, but the new yellow jersey said the sprint was ‘chaos’. It was Pfeiffer Georgi who was the last woman delivering Wiebes to the line instead of her usual final rider Charlotte Kool, after the team had to readjust their plan in the final straight.

“The lead out was quite a lot of chaos, but I stayed on Pfeiffer Georgi’s wheel and Charlotte Kool still behind me. Our plan was to swap positions after the tunnel, but it was so much chaos that I just stayed on Pfeiffer’s wheel and she put me in the perfect position.

“Marianne [Vos] started the sprint really early, I expected that, and I’m happy that I could accelerate one more time to the finish line.”

Vos also had big ambitions on the stage win, and took Wiebes right to the line, but the DSM rider pointed to her final acceleration as the reason for her success. 

“When I started to sprint, or at least when Marianne started to sprint, I reacted and I was able to shift up one gear and continue sprinting. The full focus was on the focus line. It was a hard one, the final was hard. I was completely empty afterwards.”

Wiebes has made no secret of the fact that the win in Paris was her biggest goal of the season, but said the burden of expectation did not prove a problem.

“I was fine with the pressure, because I put the most pressure on myself once I knew the parcours,” she said. “It was quite relaxed before the start, we did everything as normal. I started to become a bit more nervous towards the final, but I’m happy that I finished it off and I finished the teamwork.”

With stage 2 also expected to be a sprint, Wiebes has a chance to win again and defend both yellow and green, though she says the latter may not be a priority.

“First for tomorrow, the stage win is really important and after that it’s important the GC for Juliette [Labous],” she said. “If it’s not taking too much energy we will go also for green, but we will not put a crazy amount of energy into it.”

On a day that almost could not get any more special, Wiebes took extra joy in being able to share the celebration with her family. 

“It was a really special moment anyway that my whole family was here,” she said. “I didn’t know that they would come so close and they were able to get there to the finish line, so it was a really special moment.”

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Matilda Price is a freelance cycling journalist and digital producer based in the UK. She is a graduate of modern languages, and recently completed an MA in sports journalism, during which she wrote her dissertation on the lives of young cyclists. Matilda began covering cycling in 2016 whilst still at university, working mainly in the British domestic scene at first. Since then, she has covered everything from the Tour Series to the Tour de France. These days, Matilda focuses most of her attention on the women’s sport, writing for Cyclingnews and working on women’s cycling show The Bunnyhop. As well as the Women’s WorldTour, Matilda loves following cyclo-cross and is a recent convert to downhill mountain biking.