After finishing stages two and three in fifth place and positioning herself within a stone’s throw of the leader’s jersey occupied by teammate Coryn Rivera, Thursday it was Ellen van Dijk’s turn to lay it all out for the sprint finish at the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour. Van Dijk’s effort resulted in a 2nd place finish for Team Sunweb, with Rivera maintaining the general classification lead and van Dijk 16 seconds back in third.
Stage 4 of Lotto Thüringen was noticeably flatter than the previous stages, with just 1080m of climbing over 118km. The course started and finished in the Market at Gera.
After a 19-rider breakaway went clear toward the beginning of the race without the Team Sunweb riders in good position, it was Pernille Mathiesen who chased the group down and closed the gap. The next break setup the Liv riders in good position, with van Dijk, Rivera, Lucinda Brand, Liane Lippert, and Floortje Mackaij all making it into the lead group of 15. With no other further breakaways able to stick, the reduced bunch headed into the sprint finish.
Rivera, tired from her effort in the break, withdrew from the lead out giving van Dijk the opportunity to fight for the win. But at the line, she would have to settle for second. Rivera finished just behind in fifth, both aboard their Langma Advanced SL team bikes.
“It’s very impressive what fighting spirit the girls showed today,” said van Dijk. “It didn’t give us the advantage in GC we aimed for, but we definitely showed ourselves and are ready for more fights during the next days.”