Tearful Lorena Wiebes laments ‘really stupid mistake’ in Amstel Gold Race sprint

Dutchwoman defeated by Marianne Vos after celebrating too early

Clock14:05, Sunday 14th April 2024
Lorena Wiebes took second in Amstel Gold Race after being passed by Marianne Vos

© Getty Images

Lorena Wiebes took second in Amstel Gold Race after being passed by Marianne Vos

After celebrating too early and being defeated on the line, Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) was in tears and clearly angry at herself at the finish of the women’s Amstel Gold Race.

In the shortened race, the Dutch sprinter rode well to make the final selection that crested the Cauberg and headed towards a bunch kick, but in the final few metres she sat up to celebrate and was passed by a surging Marianne Vos (Visma-Lease a Bike) who stole victory on the line.

“I made a really stupid mistake,” Wiebes said at the finish after composing herself. “This is a hard learning lesson, but it helps that my teammates were there for me after the finish.”

Read more: Amstel Gold Race: Marianne Vos sprints to victory as Wiebes celebrates too early

In the sprint, Wiebes’ focus was on Lidl-Trek’s Elisa Longo Borghini, who opened up proceedings and almost boxed Wiebes and Vos in. The pair managed to get back into position, but Wiebes admitted her focus was on the wrong rider in the final metres.

“I could definitely kick myself,” she told NOS after the race. “Elisa Longo Borghini started the sprint on the middle line. I was sitting to the left of her wheel and she practically threw me into the barriers. I still managed to squeeze through. I just looked too much to the right and didn't see Marianne coming.”

After navigating the finish well, the last-minute mistake cost Wiebes what would have been a very big win in her home country.

“I suddenly saw Marianne at the finish and suddenly thought: oh no, maybe not…,” she said, describing the last moments of the race. “It's just very stupid. It happens to every cyclist at some point. It's a good learning point. Normally I always sprint on. I hope not to do it again next time.”

Read more: Amstel Gold Race: Women’s race neutralised then shortened after incident on route

SD Worx-Protime had played a game of chicken with Lidl-Trek in the finale, refusing to commit much to the chase and forcing the American team to close the gap to the breakaway, saving Demi Vollering and Wiebes for the finish. Until the last moments, that approach looked to have paid off.

Though it was only a last-minute error that cost Wiebes the victory, Sunday still marks another defeat for SD Worx-Protime amidst what has been a much less prolific spring for the Dutch team compared to this time last year.

They will go into both La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège as defending champions with Demi Vollering, and though those races may be too hard for Wiebes, they will be looking to make up for her mistake through Vollering and Lotte Kopecky.

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