After a tough second stage in the Santos Women's Tour Down Under, a first cautious conclusion is that CCC-Liv is doing well. The team performed the tactical plans and put Ashleigh Moolman Pasio in position on the 3.5-kilometre long climb. Ashleigh passed the finish line as seventh and saw Amanda Spratt being honoured as stage winner.
The conditions were challenging in Australia. While the temperature on the opening day was still pleasant, on Friday, however, in the stage to Angaston (117 kilometres), the thermometer hit almost 40 degrees. Two riders had an early break under the Australian sun. They collected an advantage of maximum 3.5 minutes.
“It was continuously very windy. As a result, we had to be constantly alert and at the front in case of an echelon formation. Some teams tried it, but it never went to the side”, says sports director Jeroen Blijlevens.
Going into the final, the gap with the escapees was closed and it started all over again. As expected, there was not much firework until the final climb. “We had agreed that we would position Ashleigh as a team as well as possible. In the run-up to the climb, where the road already rolled, the team did an excellent job as well as Ashleigh but there were a few slightly better.”
Room for breakaway?
The race has its penultimate stage on Saturday (105 kilometres). Jeroen Blijlevens: "We will see tomorrow to what extent our riders have recovered from this tough stage along with the progress in the race. The ranking is largely set as there are already the necessary time differences. Perhaps this stage lends itself to a breakaway in which we can play a role.”
Photocredits: Cor Vos