Race Recap

Liane Lippert takes 3rd after day on the climbs at Challenge by La Vuelta

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta

After yesterday’s team time trial, the peloton headed for the climbs today and a tough afternoon come evening in the saddle lay ahead of them.

It was an attacking start to the day but eventually a four rider breakaway went clear, which over the following climbs slimmed down to just two riders. Back in the peloton, the team looked after each other well and heading onto the penultimate ascent the break was caught and the race was back together. Almost immediately from the bottom Van Vleuten applied pressure at the head of the bunch and Liane Lippert rode brilliantly to make the front selection of five, while Juliette Labous fought in the next chasing group behind. The race split up even more with Lippert riding smartly, setting her own tempo to not go into the red and she eventually joined up with Longo Borghini, and the duo caught Vollering at the start of the penultimate climb.

From there, the race stayed in a similar status-quo pattern with Van Vleuten holding onto an imperious lead to take the stage win, while behind Lippert and her two companions would come to the line together to fight it out for the rest of the stage podium. Giving her all to the finish, Lippert threw her bike and took a strong third place on the line; while behind Labous sprinted to ninth from the chasing group, making it a double top ten for the team on the day.

“Today was already the toughest stage here after yesterday’s team time trial and we were all of that,” explained Lippert after the stage. “Megan, Léa and Francesca did a really good job at positioning us well for the climbs. We were in control at the front and managed to be in any bigger attacks. On the climbs before, Juliette, Floortje and I followed some moves and then on the second last climb Van Vleuten attacked. Her teammate made it super hard before so everyone was already full gas but I was able to follow. I had to then do my own pace a bit and ended up in the group fighting for second place with Longo Borghini and Vollering. The cooperation in the group was actually pretty good and I surprised myself a bit on this long climb to be able to be up there with them. We worked well although in the final we played a little bit. Longo Borghini had a good line in the sprint and surprised us with coming from behind and with a gap so the maximum was third place for me. It leaves us in an okay spot on GC with both Juliette and I in the top ten, and we showed good legs today so we will see what happens in the next stages.”

Team DSM coach Huub Duijn added: “As expected it was a really hard day here in Spain. On the first climb there was a break of two riders, and we focused in the bunch to be in position towards every climb, with Megan, Léa and Francesca doing a great job at that. On the penultimate climb with 20 kilometres to go the bunch completely exploded, and van Vleuten went solo, with a really strong Liane for us riding with two others that fought for second place. Liane did what she could in the chase, but Van Vleuten was never seen again and at the finish we still a nice podium spot with Liane in third. In the group behind, around 35 seconds later, Juliette sprinted to ninth in the chasing group – making it a double top ten on the stage.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek Movistar Team 2:56:30 50
2 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa Trek - Segafredo 2:16 40
3 LIPPERT Liane Team DSM ,, 30