UAE Tour Women, Stage 2: The Reactions

Written by: ProCycling Women
Posted 2 months ago

An eventful second stage in the United Arabic Emirates saw the same outcome as the day before: another sprint finish, well executed by the SD Worx – Protime-team, and another victory for Lorena Wiebes.

The second stage had an entertaining opening hour where eleven riders managed to get a small gap on the main bunch. In the end however, the race didn’t see the echelons many had anticipated and a bunch sprint on the wide roads of Madinat Zayed was the unavoidable verdict for the day in the desert. Lorena Wiebes proved faster than Chiara Consonni after a very fast stage in another headwind finish.

Wiebes’ luxury lead-out-woman Lotte Kopecky was able to snatch another four bonus seconds on the intermediate sprints along the way and moves up to fourth in the general classification.

Lotte Kopecky

The World Champion once again played a lead role in the stage as Lotte Kopecky was in the small echelon that had an advantage in the opening hour of the race, took more time in the GC and paved the way for Wiebes’ second victory in the headwind sprint finish.

After a puncture in the first echelon the SD Worx – Protime-rider dropped back into and even behind the peloton. “I wanted to change my bike as quickly as possible. I was not too worried about the echelon because the peloton was not far behind”, she told Pro Cycling Women afterwards.

Kopecky managed to get back into the peloton and the escapees got caught, as Kopeckys teammates did not contribute to the speed there anymore. With that, there were new opportunities to catch some bonus seconds in the intermediate sprints, which she did and resulted in the black jersey as new leader in the intermediate sprints classification. “I was not really hunting for this jersey, but more for the seconds. Now I just want to see how I am tomorrow and try my best against the climbers.”

With three flat stages many teams use the UAE Tour Women as a high level test for their sprint trains. After the finish in Madinat Zayed Pro Cycling Women spoke with the numbers five, four, three and one on the stage and their take on the sprint:

Lorena Wiebes

More flowers for Lorena Wiebes as she took her second victory in two days of racing in the United Arabic Emirates. This time the dutch rider made it a much longer sprint: “I was a bit too early, with 200 meters to go. But I think I had to go because if they come from behind it’s a lot harder to accelerate away from them.”

Martina Fidanza

Ceratizit-WNT’s Martina Fidanza finished fifth on stage 2 in the UAE Tour Women. Together with a strong streak at the Tour of Chongming Island at the end of last season this was one of her better sprint results at Women’s World Tour-level. “I am super satisfied with that and I have to thank all of the team for the efforts in the final,” the Italian said. The team did a strong lead-out and was in the mix together with the favourites of SD Worx – Protime and made their lifes harder by closing the door on the left side of the road. “In the bunch it is really difficult to move together and at one moment we where there together with SD – Worx (Protime). We’re sorry, but that’s racing”, Fidanza said.

Georgia Baker

Georgia Baker from Liv – AlUla – Jayco noted down the same result on her score card as on stage one: another fourth place for the australian sprinter. That was not exactly what she hoped for, but she still sees the progress: “Maybe we could’ve been a little more patient, but it’s racing. It’s really hard to exactly tell the timing. Sometimes your intuition is right and sometimes you nail it and sometimes you don’t. But we’re so close to nailing it, so I think we should still be very happy with that ride.”

 

We're so close to nailing it!

Clara Copponi

Third place for Clara Copponi. With that the new Lidl-Trek-rider scored the first podium result for the team. “Second race, first podium with the team, that’s nice. We did a really good race”, she said. For Copponi to get to do her sprint, Lidl-Trek had to solve a difficult situation when eleven riders opened a gap in the first hour of the race without a single rider from the american team. “We were at the back all together, so we had to ride to open another echelon to get back to the first group.”

On saturday it is time for the queen stage at the UAE Tour Women – up to the top of Jebel Hafeet. Last year Lidl-Trek put on a big show on the slopes of the climb with Elisa Longo Borghini and Gaia Realini taking first and second place.

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