Ellen van Dijk seals GC win at Madrid Challenge


Ellen van Dijk Leah Kirchmann Lucinda Brand Coryn Rivera Pernille Mathiesen Liane Lippert

Team Sunweb dominate the GC at Madrid Challenge, with Ellen van Dijk taking the overall victory, Coryn Rivera coming home 2nd, Leah Kirchmann 4th and Liane Lippert 5th.

After their stage win in the team time trial yesterday, Team Sunweb had 14 laps of a 5.9 kilometre circuit to contend with for the second day of Madrid Challenge. Leader in the GC and points competition, Team Sunweb set out in hot pursuit of the bonus seconds available on the race’s seven intermediate sprints in their bid for the overall.

Coryn Rivera took first and second at the opening two sprints, before a 19 rider group with Lucinda Brand and Ellen van Dijk went forward. Mopping up bonus seconds at every opportunity she could with a lead-out from Lucinda, and with the breakaway staying away to take the win, Ellen secures an impressive general classification victory in Madrid. Coryn, Leah and Liane round out the top 5 with 2nd, 4th and 5th.


Ellen said: “Our original goal was to go for the intermediates with Coryn but when the big break went, we had to adjust the plan. We still wanted to have the breakaway back before the final to sprint with Coryn, so the girls tried to chase in the bunch but there wasn’t enough help to be able to do so and me and Lucinda stayed away in the break until the finish. We can be really happy with 1-2 in the GC and the other girls close behind, especially after our TTT win yesterday. It’s been a good weekend with the team with lots of good points to take forward to the worlds. I’m also really happy to win a WorldTour race for the team and to finish my time with the team on a high note.”

Team Sunweb coach Koen de Haan said: “It was a hectic, spectacular race in downtown Madrid and there was a lot more action at the front of the race than expected. Our goal for the race was the GC and when a big group went we had Lucinda and Ellen there to fight in the bonus sprints. We expected the bunch to come back for the sprint but they didn’t, so Ellen took the GC win which is great. We had Coryn in 2nd, Leah 4th and Liane 5th after our TTT win yesterday. It’s been some hard racing here in Spain but great results in the end. We’re happy to go home with the GC win and stage victory yesterday and now look forward to fighting for the rainbow jersey in Innsbruk.”