With her second stage victory in as many days, Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) has made her mark as the dominant sprinter at The Women’s Tour. After winning stage 4 to Southend-on-Sea, the 22-year-old Dutch sprinter was victorious again on stage 5 to Clacton-on-Sea.
The stage was dominated by the solo breakaway of Hayley Simmonds (CAMS-Basso Bikes), but Wiebes’ team was never worried, and she will try again for a third win as the race comes to a close on stage 6 on Saturday.
“It was a good day again, we had everything under control with the team. SD Worx and Valcar were chasing, so we also put Liane in the chase, and we had it all under control because it was only one rider in front,” the double stage winner said.
“It may be different if there were two or three, but it was all good, and we had no moments of stress. With the lead-out we came to the front with two kilometres to go already, and I had two riders left in front of me, that was a bit too early.”
Because of this, Wiebes had to surf wheels in the peloton for a while before coming to the front again through the final turn onto the finishing straight.
“In the last bend, I only wanted to go to the front and not be boxed in. I did not look for one particular person but had my eyes on the finish line. And when I was free to sprint, I just went, with about 150 metres to go. I had some speed coming from behind, so that was good,” Wiebes explained.
The two consecutive stage wins in Essex, just across the North Sea from her native Netherlands, put Wiebes in the light-blue points jersey with one stage to go.
On the final stage from Haverhill to Felixstowe, she could repeat the feat of her compatriot Marianne Vos, who won three stages in a row in the first edition of The Women’s Tour, coincidentally also including a sprint in Clacton-on-Sea. With two victories in her bag already, Wiebes is confident that she can equal this performance.
“It is always good to win, and it gives a good feeling. Tomorrow is another day, and we will go for it again. It is a long stage, and a bit harder, I think. We have to see how the weather will be, if there is wind or not, and hopefully make it a good one,” she finished.
The final stage covers 155.3 kilometres, going mainly eastwards from Haverhill to Felixstowe, but changing direction frequently. The wind is forecast to come from the east, off the North Sea, but with low speeds below 10 km/h, it is unlikely to have a big influence on the race.
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