Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s double Olympic champion Laura Trott is within touching distance of taking the taking back the white, best young rider jersey after a split stage on day three of the Energiewacht Tour. The morning time trial stage saw Trott complete the 21km course 39 seconds faster than Jolanda Neff (Rabobank-Liv/Giant), who had taken the jersey from her on the previous stage, and she now sits just three seconds behind.
This also moved the 20-year-old up to 15th place in the general classification and - with Dani King moving up to 17th place, and Lauren Kitchen rising to 20th - Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling now has three riders inside the top twenty.
The stage was won by Netherlands time trial champion Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon), ahead of teammate Lisa Brennauer, with Australian time trial champion Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS) third.
“The time trial went very well,” said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope. “They all did a good ride really. When you look at their times it shows that they’re all going really well. They’re all within a minute of each other, if not closer.
“Van Dijk’s on another level, but they’re not that far off considering how young they are,” Cope added. “I was pleased with that result. They all gave it 100%.”
The 77.3km afternoon road stage - which was made up of six laps of a 13km circuit - again saw Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling to the fore as the team played a big part in chasing back a four rider breakaway. The stage ended in a mass sprint, with Trott finishing fifth, Emily Collins sixth, and King seventh.
The sprint was again won by Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano), ahead of Belgian champion Jolien D’hoore (Lotto-Belisol) and Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products).
“There was a little bit of confusion heading into the finish,” said Cope. “It was so chaotic. No one really knew who was there. There were bodies everywhere, and there were crashes and all sorts… One girl went into a dyke; her bike was half submerged in water. So it was an interesting race!
“I thought it was going to be split to pieces more than it did,” he continued. “Argos rode hard out of the blocks, but it didn’t cause enough damage so they decided to stop. It was really just riding for a sprint after that.
“We’ll see what happens with the white jersey tomorrow,” Cope concluded. “It’s all going in the right direction.”
Result stage 3a
1. Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon)
2. Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-lululemon
3. Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS)
18. Laura Trott
25. Dani King
33. Emily Collins
34. Lauren Kitchen
Result stage 3b
1. Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano)
2. Jolien D’hoore (Lotto-Belisol)
3. Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products)
5. Laura Trott
6. Emily Collins
7. Dani King
52. Lauren Kitchen
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day