UAE Tour Women: Lorena Wiebes doubles up with stage 2 sprint win

Chiara Consonni comes close in second, Clara Copponi takes third

Clock11:59, Friday 9th February 2024
Lorena Wiebes picked up her second win in a row on stage 2 of the UAE Tour Women

© Sprint Cycling Agency / RCS

Lorena Wiebes picked up her second win in a row on stage 2 of the UAE Tour Women

Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) took her second win in as many days on stage 2 of the UAE Tour Women, ably out-sprinting the bunch on the long, flat run-in to Madinat Zayed.

Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) finished second after coming close to Wiebes’ wheel in the final few metres, whilst Lidl-Trek's Clara Copponi took third on only her second day of racing for her new team.

In the finale, SD Worx-Protime stayed out of the wind until the final 2km, before delivering a textbook lead-out for Wiebes who won almost unchallenged after launching off of Lotte Kopecky’s wheel and never losing the lead after that.

After a fairly uneventful day in the desert which saw a brief spell of echelons and just one short-lived solo breakaway, the peloton came towards Madinat Zayed all together for the expected bunch sprint.

“The straight final made it quite difficult,” Wiebes said at the finish. “It was sometimes a bit dangerous, I heard close to me a crash in the final kilometres, so those are always the moments where you need to be a bit careful. I opened up my sprint quite early, but it was luckily enough.

“It was a bit hard to time, because Jayco came with a lot of speed from the right, but again the team did an amazing job and Lotte did a really strong lead-out for me.”

SD Worx-Protime dominant in the desert once again

With crosswinds through the desert on the menu, it was a tense start to stage 2 of the UAE Tour Women. In the first hour of the race, the peloton kept the pace high and no one managed to force a breakaway. Things were all together as the peloton passed 30km.

Shortly after that point, though, the crosswinds came into full force, and a leading group of around 15 quickly clipped off the front as echelons started to form. Echelon specialists dsm-firmenich PostNL were riding aggressively and put Pfeiffer Georgi and Rachele Barbieri in the front, whilst SD Worx dominated the group with four riders, including race leader Lorena Wiebes and Lotte Kopecky. However, the gap they got was only ever small, and with Lidl-Trek working hard to close the gaps, things came back together after around 10km.

The situation remained stable for a long time after this, with the peloton all together as the stage crossed the halfway mark, and riders either not wanting or not able to launch a breakaway attempt on the flat roads ahead of a likely bunch sprint.

At the first intermediate sprint, Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health) accelerated from the bunch to take maximum points, her first of the race and far from anything that would trouble classification leader Wiebes. After the sprint, Yanina Kuskova (Tashkent City) attacked and set off on a solo breakaway, getting a lead of 13 seconds with 40km to go. Her solo move was only short-lived though, and she was back in the peloton after less than 10km.

Heading into the final 30km and towards the second sprint, things started hotting up in the bunch with teams battling for position and speed. Kopecky took the points at the intermediate sprint just in front of Wiebes after SD Worx-Protime dominated the approach to the line.

“Lotte wanted to go for the intermediate sprint to take seconds for GC,” Wiebes explained at the finish. “So for me it was better to stay in her wheel so that the others couldn’t take any seconds.”

From there, it was all winding up for the finish, with SD Worx letting other teams do the work on the front of the peloton. EF Education-Cannondale were especially keen to get involved, along with dsm-firmenich PostNL and Liv AlUla Jayco. The final 10km was all about the teams lining up for the finale, with the pace upwards of 45kph as the finish approached.

The wide roads meant four of five teams could be on the front at any one time, but SD Worx stayed out of the wind until the final 2km. A narrowing of the road saw an EF Education-Cannondale rider crash just as Wiebes was being moved to the front, but the Dutchwoman stayed out of trouble.

Despite other teams taking it up earlier and possibly being more organised, SD Worx’s late approach worked well and Kopecky dropped off Wiebes close to the line. The race leader was challenged slightly more than on stage 1, with Consonni coming close in the final metres, but she held off her competition enough to raise her arms over the line and win the stage.

For more of the latest race results, see our race results page.

Race Results

1

nl flag

WIEBES Lorena

Team SD Worx-Protime

2H 28' 08"

2

it flag

CONSONNI Chiara

UAE Team ADQ

"

3

fr flag

COPPONI Clara

Lidl-Trek

"

4

au flag

BAKER Georgia

Liv AlUla Jayco

"

5

it flag

FIDANZA Martina

Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling

"

6

it flag

GUAZZINI Vittoria

FDJ-SUEZ

"

7

it flag

CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia

Uno-X Mobility

"

8

fi flag

AHTOSALO Anniina

Uno-X Mobility

"

9

fr flag

VERHULST-WILD Gladys

FDJ-SUEZ

"

10

pl flag

PIKULIK Daria

Human Powered Health

"

Provided by FirstCycling

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