It was a bitter sweet victory for Team Sunweb’s Ellen van Dijk on the final stage of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour as despite taking the final time trial stage victory, she was not able to claw back enough seconds to move up from 2ndto take the overall at the finish.
Heading into the final stage time trial, Ellen had a 7 second deficit to the race leader, with 18.7km to turn it around. The European Time Trial Champion put in a strong performance to take the stage win, her third of the season, but finished the day just a handful of seconds short of winning the overall.
The final stage was a fairly flat individual effort, one that saw a strong performance from all of the Team Sunweb riders. Pernille Mathiesen and Lucinda Brand taking their place in the hot seat before Ellen stormed home with the day’s fastest time of 26’38”. A strong performance from the race leader to finish 2nd, just 2 seconds adrift saw no change in the final overall GC. On the stage, Lucinda finished third, with five Team Sunweb riders in the top 10.
After the times had been calculated, Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans said: “This TT is a perfect reflection on how strong we are at the moment. Of course we still hoped to win the GC, but we also knew that we needed a super Ellen for this and she was good but not super. I am very proud to see that we finish with five riders in top 10 on the stage and on GC.”
Ellen added: “Oefff this one needed to come out of my toes. It was a difficult TT to find a rhythm and I didn’t have a super day. Not to win the GC is of course a shame, but I am glad that I could win the TT. As a team we showed that we are at a super high level and we are ready for the second part of the season.”