Dutch rider looks unstoppable as she roars to victory in Stage Two of RideLondon Classique
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) said she’s in the best condition to defend her title in the 2022 RideLondon Classique after back-to-back wins in the first two stages of the three-day race.
The Dutch rider, a winner in Maldon on Friday, was in ominous form as she added to her overall advantage at the top of the General Classification (GC), meaning she also holds the Sprints Jersey with a healthy advantage.
Wiebes will be hoping to tie up victory on Victoria Embankment tomorrow, after Anna Henderson (Team Jumbo-Visma) retained the Ford Queen of the Mountains jersey with a sprint to spare following her excellent ride through Maldon yesterday.
And, despite another tough day in the saddle, Wiebes is in a dogged mood ahead of the third and final stage.
“There is no better way to finish than through the streets of London, so we’ll go again for the best result tomorrow and are targeting the win.
“I’m really happy with how my legs are and how the team is riding, so it was great that I could finish it off. The climb after the first intermediate sprint through Epping was super tough, and there were hard areas and a lot of attacks, but the girls covered it and for me it was all about following them.”
Second-placed Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) and Emma Norsgaard Bjerg (Movistar Team Women) rounded off the top three, with both admitting it would be tough to catch Wiebes through the streets of London tomorrow. It was Norsgaard’s second consecutive third-place finish, and she said she was ‘disappointed’ with the result.
For much of the day it looked as though a breakaway would win the day, with Veronica Ewers (EF Education–Tibco–SVB) out the front for 100km of the 141km stage.
Ewers opened a gap of more than four minutes at one point, sweeping up maximum points at the first intermediate sprint, ahead of the main field’s Wiebes and Chiara Consonni (Valcar Travel & Service).
Ewers maintained her lead through the first circuit of Epping High Street to tumultuous applause from the spectators, with Wiebes edging out world champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) to reach second position.
Henderson’s team positioned her well to pick up points in each of the first two sprints for Ford Queen of the Mountains points, meaning her lead is uncatchable, with no points up for grabs on tomorrow’s flat stage.
While there were several attacks on the final ascent towards Epping, it was Wiebes who roared ahead of the field to earn victory by more than a bike length.
Henderson also took the Best British Rider Jersey from the shoulders of her compatriot Alice Barnes (Canyon//SRAM Racing).
“When we race abroad there is always some friendly competition about who wins the Best British Rider. I was joking with Alice about taking the jersey ahead of the race. It’s special as you don’t get it in a lot of races, so I want to keep it now.”
The final jersey in the race – Best Young Rider – is held by Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futurescope), who fell inside 20km and was sporting a bloody knee at the finish.
“I wanted to finish as soon as possible but, in the end, I found the strength to do the sprint,” she said. “I think the adrenaline helped me a lot in the final so perhaps I didn’t feel the pain as much, and now I want to keep this jersey.”
The race concludes tomorrow afternoon, with nine laps in central London.