Wiebes repeats with victory on stage 2 at Baloise Ladies Tour

HARLOW ENGLAND JUNE 07 Lorena Wiebes of Netherlands and Team DSM celebrates at finish line as stage winner during the 8th The Womens Tour 2022 Stage 2 a 921km stage from Harlow to Harlow WomensTour UCIWWT on June 07 2022 in Harlow England Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images
Lorena Wiebes of Team DSM (Image credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) repeated with a sprint victory at the Baloise Ladies Tour on Friday and easily won stage 2 from a small breakaway group in Herzele. Ellen Van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) trailed in second and Daria Pikulik (Atom Deweloper Posciellux.pl Wroclaw) took third.

The back-to-back victories keep Wiebes at the top of the GC, extending her lead on the Trek-Segafredo duo of Van Dijk, now 11 seconds back in second overall, and Audrey Cordon-Ragot, 27 seconds back in third. 

Wiebes marked her main competitors across the 114.6km route. The route around Herzele began under blue skies and riders eager to attack. Canadian Alison Jackson (Liv Racing Xstra) was the first to charge off the front in the first 15 kilometres.

Van Dijk and Team DSM’s Liane Lippert set the early pace at the front of the peloton and took a small gap at the top of the sole categorised climb of the day at Berendries. Eri Yonamine (Human Powered Health) made it a trio at the front of the race, but it was all back together again as the race headed to the four finish laps of 16km each.

Reaching the halfway point of the race, a breakaway of eight riders had formed - Cordon-Ragot and Van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo), Lorena Wiebes and Georgi Pfeiffer (Team DSM), Jackson, Marthe Truyen (Plantur-Pura), Anaïs Morichon (Arkéa Pro  Cycling) and Georgie Howe (Keukens Redant Cycling). The lead never reached more than 23 seconds, and the duo of Evy Kuijpers (Human Powered Health) and Pikulik joined the party. 

Once the 10 riders joined forces, they extended the lead to the chasers to 1:40 with 40km to go, before losing Morichon for a while due to a mechanical.

The lead group took a wrong turn on the course with under 30km to go, which also saw a crash and Howe needing assistance on the side of the road. She was able to rejoin the front group as the 10 resumed their focus toward the final lap, and then launched a solo attack.

On the final circuit, Howe built a lead of 48 seconds to her former breakaway companions, and almost three minutes to the peloton. Georgi led the chase to close down the dangerous move.

In the closing kilometres, Van Dijk and Cordon-Ragot tried to get away, but counter attacks closed down each attempt to keep the front pack together.

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