Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team closed out a successful week of racing at the Boels Rental Ladies Tour with second overall and the team classification victory. Olympic road champion Anna van der Breggen, who won Saturday’s stage five, finished on bunch time in Sittard on Sunday to maintain second place.
“I loved racing with the team, and the Ladies Tour has really changed from a flat race to a stage race with something for everyone,” said Van der Breggen. “Personally, I’m really happy with the week.”
Christine Majerus flew the Boels-Dolmans flag in the early breakaway. The Luxembourgish national champion was part of an 11-rider move that forced clear early. When the group split apart over the hills that littered the second half of the 157-kilometre stage, Majerus remained out front.
“Christine did a great job by being in the group directly and racing in the break all day,” said Van der Breggen. “Amy [Pieters] and Chantal [Blaak] tried to bridge over, but the bunch wasn’t giving them much space. It didn’t’ seem like any other teams were fighting for the GC anymore.”
Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Energie) attacked 40 kilometres from the finish and took Janneke Ensinge (Alé Cipollini) with her. The pair needed only one kilometre to reach the shattered escape. Only Majerus and Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) were able to match the pace set by the fresher legs. Further attacks from Niewiadoma kept all chasers at a distance.
“We missed the break with Kasia and Janneke, which was a pity,” said Van der Breggen. “Our tactic was the same as always – we raced to win. We had nothing to lose, but we could still try for the overall victory and the stage, and that motivated our tactic.”
In the end, it was Ensing who took the stage, soling to victory in Sittard, and Annemiek van Vleuten (ORICA-SCOTT) won the overall from Van der Breggen.
Van der Breggen remains atop the UCI Women’s WorldTour classification with a four-point lead on Van Vleuten. The final round of the UCI Women’s WorldTour is next weekend’s Madrid Challenge.