Van Dijk powers back into Baloise Ladies Tour lead

Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo)
Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) (Image credit: Trek-Segafredo)

The racing at the Baloise Ladies Tour moved back into the favoured territory of Ellen van Dijk on Saturday evening, with an individual time trial, and the Trek-Segafredo rider took full advantage with her dominant performance in Knokke-Heist turning the tables on former race leader Lorena Wiebes.

Van Dijk, the world champion in the discipline, was always the rider to watch for the stage, having already swept up the prologue. Still over the 15.6km she not only took the win but stretched out a gap of 44 seconds to her nearest rival for the stage, Mieke Kröger (Human Powered Health). Teammate Audrey Cordon-Ragot took third and then it was Wiebes at 51 seconds back.

That turned Wiebes' race lead of 20 seconds – stretched by three sprint wins in a row – into a 31 second deficit to Van Dijk ahead of Sunday’s final stage, all but assuring the Trek Segafredo rider of the GC win.

“Normally tomorrow’s stage is designed as a sprint stage as well,” said Van Dijk. “Perhaps a group can go, and maybe Lorena has a special surprise for us? To be honest I am not too worried, we have a really strong team and I also feel good, so I think if she attacks us, we can manage it.”

“It’s not over until it’s over she we have to be sharp tomorrow and bring it home. GC will be the focus for me and Wiebes can go for another sprint stage win, that’s fine with me!”

The final stage is a flat 120km looping out from Deinze in Belgium.

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