Newly crowned Commonwealth Games Champion Georgia Baker came close to taking a stage victory at the six-day Simac Ladies Tour today, walking away with a strong third place in the bunch kick.
Despite crosswind sections threatening the peloton with echelons and dangerous splits, the 139km stage came down to a bunch sprint for the third consecutive day. Team BikeExchange-Jayco tried to animate the stage, but after the second of two large laps, it was clear that the peloton wanted another sprint finish, this time into Gennep.
The team set about to position Baker towards the front and as the peloton began to launch for the line, Baker came with speed but the finish came too early and it was third place in the end. After spending all day in the breakaway before going solo in the finale to yesterday’s second stage, today was another positive performance to highlight Baker’s strong run of recent form.
Georgia Baker – 3rd place
“I am really happy with third, we thought it was going to be a really aggressive race today given there was a couple of climbs, so we stayed attentive and made sure we rode well as a team. We thought there would be more breaks and even that a breakaway would stay away for the finish line, so we weren’t really planning to sprint. When we realised on the last 16km loop that it would be a sprint finish, then we said ‘ok, I will sprint and the girls would look after me’.
The plan was always to stick to the right hand side as there was strong wind on the last straight, so I just trusted that and tried to follow good wheels. Looking back I probably could have been a bit further up, closer onto the DSM train or first into that last corner, but we continue to learn as a group and I’m still really happy with third place.”
Martin Vestby – Head Sport Director
“It was a good day, we tried as a team a few times, we tried to create something through the stage and the riders were all really focussed and on it all day. Having Georgia there in the final, after saving a little bit for the sprint was great.
Overall, it was a good team day and a great sprint from Georgia. We still have three hard days to come, tomorrow’s flat stage before the individual time trial and then a final hilly stage on Sunday, so there’s still some good opportunities left for us.”
2022 Simac Ladies Tour – Stage 3 Results:
- Charlotte Kool 3:16:44
- Lorena Wiebes ST
- Georgia Baker (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) ST
Photo: Getty Images