Wiebes wins stage 1 to take GC lead at Baloise Ladies Tour

Baloise Ladies Tour 2022 8th Edition 1st stage Zulte Zulte 1286 km 14072022 Lorena Wiebes NED Team DSM photo Davy RietbergenCVSprintCyclingAgency2022
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) on the podium after winning stage 1 of Baloise Ladies Tour 2022 (Image credit: Davy Rietbergen/CV Sprint Cycling Agency)

Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) soared across the line in Zulte to win the second day of the Baloise Ladies Tour. Mylene de Zoete (AG Insurance-NXTG Team) was second and Amber van der Hulst (Liv Racing Xstra) was third, making it an all-Dutch sweep of the podium.

With the victory, Wiebes moved into the GC lead, just one second ahead of prologue winner Ellen Van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo). Third place is occupied by Trek-Segafredo's Audrey Cordon-Ragot, 14 seconds back. Wiebes also took over the lead in the points classification, while her teammate Pfeiffer Georgi was the best young rider.

On the final lap, 11.5km to go, the peloton was in full chase mode of a breakaway trio - Valentina Scandolara (Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano) , Typhaine Laurance (Arkéa Pro Cycling) and Loes Sels (Promimus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini). A crash in the peloton slowed down some of the progress, but the front group of chasers made the catch of the breakaway to set up a bunch sprint  in Zulte.

It was Georgi who piloted Wiebes into the final stretch, making sure that no other lead outs came over the top. After Georgi pulled off, Wiebes launched a powerful sprint in the final 200 metres and crossed the line with room to spare for the victory, her 11th of the season. 

“The team did a really good job, we controlled the race from the beginning onwards,” said Wiebes. 

“There was a break of three but we caught them in the last lap and kept the pace high. We lost each other a bit in the final but Pfeiffer and I stayed together. Pfeiffer did a massive job in the lead out and I didn’t have to sprint for too long. It’s again a really good team effort and we’re looking forward to tomorrow and the harder stage.”

After only a few kilometers from the start in Zulte, De Groot attacked and stayed in the lead for 30km before the peloton made the catch after the first intermediate sprint. 

On the second finishing circuit, Scandolara launched an attack and after gaining a one minute lead Laurance was able to bridge across for a twosome. With 35km to go they had a 23-second lead.

The second intermediate sprint ignited an attack from Sels and she caught the leaders. The trio then added some time for the final two local laps of the 128.6km stage, but not enough to hold off the charging peloton in the end.

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