In the expected bunch sprint in the first stage of the UAE Tour, Lorena Wiebes sprinted supremely in Dubai Harbour to seal the first win of the season for Team SD Worx-Protime. The 24-year-old Dutch top sprinter put the win largely down to the preparatory work of her sprint train. “I was brought perfectly and was able to stay out of the wind for a long time. It’s fantastic to open the season like this with Team SD Worx-Protime.”
The first stage of the UAE Tour marked the opener of the season for Team SD Worx-Protime. It was also the first big test for the lead-out train for Lorena Wiebes. Her teammates not only kept Wiebes perfectly in front, but also made sure she did not catch a breath of wind. Guarischi first pulled ahead, before Lotte Kopecky piloted the top sprinter into the final hundreds of metres. Wiebes then pounced with a scorching acceleration for the first win of the season.
“It’s great to immediately win the first race of the season,” said Lorena Wiebes afterwards. “The team’s lead-out was textbook racing. We had decided beforehand that we would sprint on the right side, because the wind was coming from the left. We also wanted to wait as long as possible so we didn’t have to sprint full into the wind. There was chaos in the peloton on the last long stretch, but with us everyone stayed cool. They set me off perfectly. I’m glad I finished as well.”
Lotte Kopecky was the locomotive that brought Wiebes up to speed. “It’s nice to have the world champion as lead-out rider for you! Our co-operation is going great. That’s how it works at Team SD Worx-Protime, we don’t shy away from working flat out for each other. And that produces success.”
With this result, Wiebes immediately opens her victory counter for this season and looks forward to the next. “Tomorrow a new sprint opportunity normally presents itself. The leader’s jersey will create a bit more pressure for us. The wind will certainly play a role, but we are ready for any echelons…”, Wiebes concluded.