Lorena Wiebes took the overall lead at the Boels Ladies Tour with another sprint victory on Thursday.
The 20 year-old once again out sprinted her rivals, though her win ahead of second placed Kirsten Wild (WNT-Rotor) was marginally less convincing than stage one. In third place was Sunweb’s Lucinda Brand, making an all Dutch podium in their home race.
Wiebes’s Parkhotel-Valkenburg team successfully navigated their leader into position in the closing two kilometres, leaving her to surf wheels in the last 500m.
She managed to switch between the wheel of Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans) and Letizia Paternoster (Trek-Segafredo) and despite being boxed in, managed to extricate herself to take the win.
Bonus seconds won in the two stage victories now put Wiebes in the overall lead, ahead of Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) with three stages remaining. With each of those days being flat, she now has her eye overall victory in the top race in her home country.
How it happened
In contrast to yesterday’s benign stage, stage two began at high pace, but saw a lone breakaway rider head up the road inside the opening five kilometres of the 113km race, beginning and ending in Gennep.
Only 21, Dutch rider Quinty Ton (Biehler Pro) was quickly allowed to build a lead of 1.15, giving her the virtual overall race lead. However, as soon as she had that lead it began to drop. And, with various points and bonuses available at the end of each of the four laps which comprised the race, she was brought back.
Kirsten Wild bagged maximum points for the points classification at that sprint. Beck Durrell, and winner of the British national road series, was third behind her Tibco Silicon Valley Bank team mate Alison Jackson, who began the day in the blue points jersey.
With rain hammering down for the second lap, the pace was knocked off slightly, the peloton remaining together ahead of the second sprint back in Gennep.
Of the three, only this sprint awarded bonus seconds, with three, two and one seconds available to the top three, and it was German, Lisa Brennauer (WNT-Rotor) who took the maximum advantage.
As the race developed and conditions deteriorated, crashes once again began to be an issue, with world champion Anna van der Breggen one victim. However, unlike stage one there were no abandons as a result.
With Wild winning the final, flat sprint, which counted towards the climbing competition, she took the polka dot jersey and the race began to take shape with a number of attacks.
Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segfredo) was one of a very strong group of five riders who attacked around two kilometres into the final circuit, but they were quickly caught, and despite a few further brief forays off the front, the race was set for the bunch kick.
Tomorrow’s third stage sees the race head north to Nijverdal around 50km east of Apeldoorn for what will be the event’s longest stage, at 156.8km.
Boels Ladies Tour 2019, stage two: Gennep – Gennep (113.7km)
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel-Valkenburg in 2-45-09
2. Kirsten Wild (Ned) WNT-Rotor
3. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb
4. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
5. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Cylance
6. Roxane Fournier (Fra) Movistar
7. Emma Norsgaard Jørgensen
8. Letizia Paternoster (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Virtu
10. Lonneke Uneken (Ned) Hitec Products BirkSport
General classification after stage two
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel-Valkenburg in 5-49-08
2. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott at 07 sec
3. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb at 08 sec
4. Letizia Paternoster (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 11 sec
5. Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM at 13 sec
6. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT-Rotor at same time
7. Kistren Wild (Ned) WNT-Rotor at 14 sec
8. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 16 sec
9. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans at 17 sec
10. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 18 sec