Alexis Ryan and Lisa Brennauer secured wins in the QOM and Points classifications respectively after the final stage of Holland Ladies Tour in Sittard. The stage was won by Janneke Ensing (ALE) with Annemiek van Vleuten (OGE) securing her week-long lead in the general classification. Elena Cecchini crossed the line in seventh position to be the best placed CANYON//SRAM rider on the stage.
Young American rider Alexis Ryan dominated the main breakaway of the day that formed early in the 157km stage winning four of the six categorised climbs. With her efforts Ryan moved herself from fifth on the mountain classification to take home the overall QOM jersey.
“I had a gut feeling to attack on the first climb of the day – 3km into the race. It seems a bit silly to go so early, but I trusted my instinct and went for it. Certainly glad I did it!” said Ryan after the stage.
“It wasn’t in the team plan for me to go after the QOM jersey but once I was in the break it became a possibility. I was not actually feeling too great. My legs were pretty tired but my job was to be on the offensive. It was the last stage so I knew I could completely empty the tank.”
Ryan’s break was joined by the eventual stage winner Ensing with around 25km to go. “Once Kasia (Niewiadoma) and Janneke (Ensing) came up to our group and started attacking I was really suffering. I couldn’t follow them when they attacked on the climbs, but I rode hard and clawed my way back to the group several times. I never gave up and I’m really proud of that. I’m happy to have stepped onto the podium for the team to win this jersey,” said Ryan.
Lisa Brennauer, who was second in the points classification prior to the start of today’s stage, took over the jersey from Anna van der Breggen (DLT).
“The final stage went well for us having Alexis in the break of the day and eventually winning the QOM jersey. There was a lot of attacking during the stage but we’ve always been present,” said Brennauer who also finished fourth on the general classification.
“The team wanted to go for the stage win today and we worked really hard to catch the last break of three riders towards the end of the race when Alexis was not in it. We were stopped by the railway crossing which disrupted our chase. In the end we take home a fourth on GC, a climbers jersey and a points jersey so we can be pleased with that,” said Brennauer.