Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) put in a masterclass sprinting performance to take stage 4 of The Women’s Tour into Southend-on-Sea. The win marked her 11th victory of the season and provided further evidence of her continued development.
The 22-year-old was quick to point out the work that had been done off the bike and in training when it came to developing tactics and strong relationships with her lead-out train. In a chaotic finale Wiebes made use of her team’s support, and despite losing her train in a turbulent finale, the Dutch rider ‘trusted’ her sprint before powering away from Chiara Consonni (Valcar Travel & Service) and Chloe Hosking (Trek-Segafredo).
“It was a really good day. The last metres were a lot of chaos, I lost my train and I had to find my way in the peloton but I opened up my sprint and it was all good,” a delighted Wiebes said at the finish line.
Coming into the stage and DSM have two goals. First, the team wanted to ensure that Juliette Labous kept her podium chances alive. The rider sat second overall behind Demi Vollering (SD Worx) and was kept out of trouble all day before DSM turned their attention to the finish line sprint. Despite losing her teammates in the finale, Wiebes acknowledged that the team had achieved their two main aims for the day.
“It was a really fast start and during the stage also. We also went as a team for the intermediate sprints to keep Juliette Labous on the podium and that also went really well. It has been a really good day for the team. I felt strong today, stronger than I did in the other stages. I trusted my sprint and it ended up good.”
With two more stages to go, and both days likely to end in bunch sprints, Wiebes will have two additional chances to improve on her tally in the race.
“We will really go for the next stages, we will see how it goes. I have also had some setbacks this year with crashes. I’m happy that I’ve fought all the way back and I’m happy that the shape is good now and I hope to end the season in a good way,” she added.
Wiebes' development into one of the fastest sprinters in the Women’s WorldTour has marked her as a major star for both the future and the present. She moved to DSM after breaking her contract with Parkhotel in 2020 and signed a five-year deal with Team DSM that has already resulted in a string of impressive results, including win a stage win in the Giro d’Italia Donne, Lotto Belgium Tour, and Scheldeprijs earlier this spring.
While she continues to rack up wins she also has one eye on the Olympic Games in Paris in three years' time, where she will hope to sprint for the gold as part of the women’s Dutch team.
“I really can make some steps and I’m ready for that. I’m working towards the next Olympic Games,” she said. "I learned a lot from this team, we really worked on the lead-out and I know more about my strength now. My strength is my sprint and now I know how to time it and also work with the lead-out.”
Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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