Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) secured a solo victory on stage 2 at Festival Elsy Jacobs. Ewers made a late-race attack inside the final seven kilometers of the race and held off a reduced chase group sprint won by Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team Emirates) and Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo-Visma) in Garnich.
“I’m in shock right now too be honest right now it’s my first win in the WorldTour and I really didn’t expect this to be the outcome today to be completely honest,” Ewers said.
“This is the last chance and I’m just going to give it everything I have and go. I turned around and I had a bit of a gap, and I said this is it I have to give it everything right now, and I turned around again and I had a bigger gap, and I kept going and then I turned round again and I couldn’t see them, and I said I have to go to the finish as hard as possible.
“I considered quitting multiple times but my DS was in my ear and my teammates were in my ear telling me to keep going, it was really motivating.”
Bastianelli won the overall classification of the three-day event after overnight leader Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service) and runner-up Demi Vollering (SD Worx) were caught behind a late-race crash and in the next group on the road.
The Italian won the overall classification by nine seconds ahead of stage winner Ewers and 16 seconds ahead of both Persico and Vollering.
“Today’s stage was challenging in many ways. The finale was very confusing because of a crash that split the peloton. Some of the girls who were in the general classification stayed behind, while those who were in the front group with me, Sofia [Bertizzolo] and Maaike [Boogaard]tried very hard to get in trouble and attack us,” Bastianelli said.
“I’m very happy to have won this race, especially for my teammates because they really gave their souls for me during these days and so to lose this race for a few seconds would have been a shame. But we did it and we are all very happy.”
How it unfolded
The final stage 2 of the Festival Elsy Jacobs was a 109.3km race in Garnich. The route started with a 59km loop followed five short 10km loops, and included four categorized ascents.
Giorgia Vettorello (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) cleared the field and built her lead out to 30 seconds, however, she was caught just ahead of the first of four climbs at Simmerschmelz.
Debora Silvestri (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) counter attacked and was followed by SD Worx climber Anna Shackley. Silvestri picked up the mountain points over the top.
UAE Team Emirates and Valcar-Travel & Service led the peloton behind and caught Shackley and Silvestri with 58km to go.
Canyon-Sram, SD Worx and Uno X teams assumed control of the field as they entered the five short local circuits in Garnich.
Marta Jaskula (Liv Racing Xstra) took the points atop the Kahler ascent ahead of Silvestri and Shackley. However, on the next time up the climb it was Silvestri who took the top points, padding her mountain classification lead out to 18 points.
Seperate late-race attacks came from Marta Lach (Ceratizit-WNT), Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma), the Canyon-Sram duo of Mikayla Harvey and Pauliena Rooijakkers, and the SD Worx trio of Shackley, Niamh Fisher-Black, and Blanka Vas, but they were all caught inside 25km to go.
Inside two laps to go, runner-up in the overall Vollering attacked but the overall race leader Persico was quick to respond and jumped on her wheel.
Greta Marturano (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) cleared the field with 15km to go and raced through the bell lap with a small lead over the field led by Valcar-Travel & Service and Jumbo-Visma.
However, an unfortunate crash brought down Henderson and Joss Lowden (Uno-X Pro Cycling) and disrupted the field with 8km to the finish, with Vollering and Persico caught behind the incident.
Marturano was caught shortly after the crash, inside 7km, and Ewers counter attacked. The American rider opened a small lead on the first group, and it was all she needed to seal the stage victory in Garnich.
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