Breakaway Day for Pluimers

AG Insurance Soudal Quick-Step’s Ilse Pluimers put in a strong showing for the team to spend the day in an impressive breakaway on stage 4 of the Giro Donne. Justine Ghekiere represented the team colours by finishing in the main bunch of GC contenders.

It was a tough stage 4 in Italy with the 134km consisting of three categorised climbs and ascending a total of 1902m. Ilse attacked with two other riders who were eventually unable to stay with her strong pace. It left the peloton chasing her until the very closing stages of the day. Elisa Longo Borghini would eventually take the stage victory, with the group of main contenders, containing Ghekiere, coming home 40″ later.

Clearly delighted with her efforts, Belgian Ghekiere said, “I didn’t know how I would feel today, because I crashed yesterday. In the beginning it was not so good, but as the race went on, I started to feel better and better. Then on the final climb I was in the main group and I had a good feeling. I now have a good feeling for the race and I feel that my real Giro starts today.”

Pluimers was also delighted. “It was a long day in the race. I had two riders with me, but I soon realised I was the strongest, so I set my own place on the climbs and I noticed that they couldn’t keep up anymore and ended up alone. Then I just kept going until the peloton caught up with me. I feel good, it was nice to be in the early breakaway and show our jersey.”

Sports director Jolien D’hoore was pleased with the all around team effort. She added, “The plan today was to go in the breakaway. Ilse did that perfectly with two other riders. She was really strong and able to stay until the final. We then had three riders in the main group, and Justine has a really good day, which is promising after some bad luck for her. Everyone is really happy with today and the girls are looking strong, so we are looking forward to the next days!”

The Giro Donne continues tomorrow (Tuesday) with a punchy 105,6 kilometre long stage from Salassa to Ceres.

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