Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) repeated her stage 1 victory at the RideLondon Classique, also winning stage 2 in a sprint.
For a long time, the stage was characterised by a solo breakaway from Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), but the US rider was reeled in with about 35km to go.
There were no further attacks, and in the sprint on the High Street in Epping, Wiebes beat Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) and Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team) by several bike lengths, defending her leader's jersey in the process.
“We did a really good job as a team. We controlled it at the front of the peloton with Franzi [Koch], and after passing the finish line for the first time we were in a good position for the climb. Megan [Jastrab] reacted to dangerous attacks. Pfeiffer [Georgi] positioned me for the final climb, I could follow the best there, and Charlotte [Kool] was there in the final to set me up," Wiebes said after the stage.
"We did a really good job as a team today and I’m super happy to finish it off for them. We’re looking forward to tomorrow and going for it one more time to get the best result possible.”
How it unfolded
Starting in Chelmsford, the county town of Essex, and finishing in Epping next to the famous Epping Forest, stage 2 covered 141.7 km. The race would go north at first before turning south-west in Great Sampford to head towards Epping where the stage ended with two laps each of two different circuits, which provided three QOM sprints. It also included two intermediate sprints, in Great Dunmow and when crossing the finish line in Epping for the first time with 48.8 km to go.
Ewers attacked very early on the stage and already held a 40-second advantage after 14 kilometres, and soon the peloton loosened its reins even further, letting Ewers go up to four minutes ahead. She obviously won the first intermediate sprint in Great Dunmow, with Wiebes and Consonni taking the remaining points and bonus seconds.
With Team DSM leading the chase, Ewers’ lead had shrunk to 2:10 minutes at the intermediate sprint in Epping where Wiebes and Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) led the peloton over the finish line, and in the next kilometres, the peloton sped up significantly, catching Ewers about 35 kilometres from the finish – not before she had won the day’s first QOM sprint on Mount End, followed by yesterday’s escapee Anna Henderson (Team Jumbo-Visma).
Henderson won the second QOM sprint on Mount End to secure her orange-blue QoM jersey, and the final QOM sprint on Houblons Hill in Coopersale went to Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service).
In the Epping sprint finish, Wiebes was untouchable, flying across the line several bike lengths ahead of Bastianelli and even further ahead of Norsgaard who led home the rest of the peloton.
Going into the final stage in London where she could make it a clean sweep of all three stages, Wiebes now leads the general classification by 18 seconds to Balsamo and 19 seconds to Norsgaard.
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