Marlen Reusser (Ale BTC Ljublana) won the second stage of the Simac Ladies’ Tour with a blistering performance in the individual time-trial. The Olympic time-trial silver medallist also took the leader’s jersey, taking only 20 minutes and 42 seconds to cover the 17km course, averaging a breakneck 49km/h.
The course in Gennep was a single long straight, with a turn at the end so the riders came back and passed each other going the other way. Marlen Reusser said pre-race, after having given the course a recon: “It’s flat and straight, so physically it’s ideal for me.”
Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo), an old hand at time trials – 31 victories in time trials throughout her career, including the world title – took second place, eighteen seconds behind Reusser, moving into second in the general classification. She also managed to slip ahead in the points classification, taking the green jersey from Marianne Vos.
This was by far the closest anyone got to Reusser’s time. Chantal Blaak (SD Worx) came in third at forty-one seconds down; Lisa Klein (Trek-Segafredo) came in fourth, fifty seconds down. They moved into third and fourth respectively in the general classification. From then on, Reusser had a minute or more on everyone else.
Emma Norsgaard (Team Movistar) came in fifth at 21’42”, although she suffered from an unlucky start time – Reusser was bearing down behind her, and caught her just at the line. Despite unfortunate appearances, she managed to move up sixteen places to fifth in the general classification. She also took the white jersey from Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM).
Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) came sixth; Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) came seventh; Julie Leth (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team) came eighth; Alice Barnes (Canyon//SRAM Racing), the British time-trial champion, came in ninth, and Anouska Koster (Jumbo-Visma) rounded out the top ten.
Alison Jackson (Liv Racing) was unable to keep hold of the yellow jersey she earned yesterday, coming in at 30th with a time of 22.46. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) managed to cling onto the top ten in the general classification.
After the race, Reusser said she felt, “Very very very happy. You never know what’s happening, how strong you are or the others are, so it’s really a big honour to be first today.”
Asked how she felt about her form after her success in Tokyo, she said that she was feeling good, but that, “The big goal is the world championships in one month, so I hope I’ll be in top top shape for that.”
Despite damaging her racing kit in a fall yesterday, she said she hoped it wouldn’t be a problem – that, hopefully, she could just keep wearing the yellow jersey.