Two out of two for Lorena Wiebes in UAE Tour, perfect day for Team SD Worx-Protime

Two out of two for Lorena Wiebes in UAE Tour, perfect day for Team SD Worx-Protime

"Pure class made the difference"


Also in the second stage of the UAE Tour, Lorena Wiebes proved supremely strong in the bunch sprint. At the finish there was plenty of headwind. Wiebes nevertheless got into the lead early on, but still pulled ahead. "The individual class of our last three riders made the difference," said sports manager Danny Stam.

Linked cyclists Lorena Wiebes Gekoppelde ploegleiders: Danny Stam

In the second stage of the UAE Tour, animosity came quickly. With 90 kilometers to go, it was pulled aside at the first best chance. Team SD Worx-Protime was attentively in the front. Defending champion Elisa Longo-Borghini was in the second group about 20 seconds behind. But the sting was taken out of the echelon when world champion Lotte Kopecky punctured ten kilometers later. After that, it was never pulled aside again and so there was another mass sprint. About three kilometers from the end, Team SD Worx-Protime moved to the front, whereupon Barbara Guarischi and Lotte Kopecky piloted sprint star Lorena Wiebes. The tight headwind made it difficult for Wiebes, but she still pulled ahead. Good for two out of two for the Dutch sprint star.

"This was almost the perfect day," sports manager Danny Stam reflected. "Our plan was to draw echelons and we were on target. Our team was well in the front. Unfortunately, Lotte Kopecky had a flat tire, which threw a little spanner in the works. Although I have to admit that I don't think that made any difference in the race. It was still a long way from the finish and I think everything would have come back together. Still, it's nice that when you make a plan, it comes true. And we were able to panic the competition for a while."

"The headwind on the last straightaway made it harder to really put down a good lead-out," Stam continued. "When it's more crosswind, you can pull the train up a little longer, but with a headwind it's hard. Then you are at the mercy of the individual class of the two or three riders. That Lorena started relatively early and still held on to the line shows her individual class."

Wiebes was satisfied with the win. "The long straight in the finale made it difficult. It was dangerous at times. I heard a big crash next to me, those are the moments when you need to be careful. Liv-AlUla-Jayco came with a lot of speed on the right side. It was hard to time correctly, but the team did a great job. Lotte brought me perfect. This was a good day for Team SD Worx-Protime, with Lotte also winning the intermediate sprint for the bonus seconds. I kept sprinting in her wheel so others couldn't take the seconds behind her."

Tomorrow awaits the stage to the Jebel Hafeet climb (12.5 K. at 6.1% average). "Before the final climb, there could possibly be echelons again," Stam looked ahead. "It's hard to say what Lotte will do on that final climb, but it's definitely a good gauge. I don't expect her to get dropped easily, although it remains a difficult climb. Tomorrow the classification will be made."

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