Lorena Wiebes of Team SD Worx reversed the Day-1 placings with Charlotte Kool to win stage 2 and emerge the overall leader of the UAE Tour Women after the 133-kilometre route from the Al Dhafra Fort to Al Mirfa on Friday.
The European champion overcame a tense battle with Kool in the final 200 metres dash to clinch the race by a bike length. Kool’s teammate Pfeiffer Georgi joined them on the podium.
The race reached a climax with 1,400m to go. Team DSM led with a full lead-out train, Wiebes was briefly boxed, but Barbara Guarischi guided her to the front and on to Kool's wheel.
Kool and Wiebes then started the sprint at the same time, and the Team SD Worx rider had power and speed this time for the stage victory.
Wiebes will wear the red jersey as the new overall leader in stage 3 with Kool lying at the same time. Chiara Consonni of UAE Team ADQ finished fifth and retained her third place overall, 10 seconds behind.
“I'm feeling great now! Today was a tough stage, very windy and with crosswinds, we went full gas from the start until the finish line,” Wiebes said soon after crossing the finishing line.
“My teammates did a great job, we showed we are a strong team with a great lead out. DSM was coming up from the left side, but Barbara brought me into the perfect position, and I could sprint as I wanted.
“Tomorrow I hope I can help Anna Shackley (in the mountain stage) as much as possible.”
The riders had to battle through high winds and the stage was dominated by echelon action right from the start, with a group of 19 minutes ahead of the rest of the peloton for the major part of the race.
The peloton eventually closed in with 43km to go, and the chasing group returned at the 20km mark. However, in the last 10km, the race split again in the crosswinds, with Marta Cavalli (FDJ-Suez) among the riders losing ground in the GC battle.
“It was a hard stage, we had crosswinds from the beginning. Today I felt better, while sprinting I could feel I had more power in my legs and I showed it,” Weibes added.
“This win is not really a revenge for me after yesterday, now I am ready for the next opportunity.
“My teammates did a great job keeping me out of danger, we always rode in the front of the race and in the first group. In the finale they helped me out with positioning, I really wanted to finish it off for them.”
Stage 2 result top three
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) — Team SD Worx 3 hrs 35min28sec
2. Charlotte Kool (NED) — Team DSM) +00
3. Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR) — Team DSM +00
4. Marta Lach (POL) — Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling +00
5. Chiara Consonni (ITA) — UAE Team ADQ +00