CCC-Liv team rider Pauliena Rooijakkers put in a gutsy ride on Stage 2 of the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, launching an attack on the final climb and earning a podium placing at the six-day stage race in Germany.
Racing the 113km second stage in Schleiz, the 26-year-old Dutch rider went for the win on her Liv Langma Advanced SL team bike. In the end, she came up just short with a second-place finish behind Italian Marta Bastianelli.
“Pauliena made a very strong impression today,” said CCC-Liv sports director Jeroen Blijlevens. “This was also apparent from the jump she placed on the last climb of the day. Only Bastianelli had an answer to that.”
The entire team rode well on Stage 2, including Valerie Demey, who crashed hard on Tuesday’s opening stage and spent the evening at the hospital. With no fractures, she managed to line up the next day and was able to push through and finish.
Marta Lach and Evy Kuijpers were in the main group, 6 seconds behind Rooijakkers, who launched her bid for the win on the final climb.
“If you race to the finish line with Bastianelli, you know it will be hard to beat her,” Blijlevens said. “But the chasing group had some sprinters who would make it difficult for us if it came down to a group sprint. If you get caught again, you might end up with nothing. Pauliena and Bastianneli worked well together and raced full speed ahead. This was, in this situation, the most feasible for us.”
The Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour continues with Stage 3 on Thursday and will conclude Sunday in Altenburg.