Fourth place for Elizabeth Banks and ninth for Leah Thomas on the penultimate stage of the Boels Ladies Tour
The start of the penultimate stage of the Boels Ladies Tour was characterised by a series of attacks, but despite this, no breakaway was able to successfully form. The peloton rode quite a high tempo and even after 65 kilometres in the saddle, the field was still all together. Shortly before entering the second half of the stage, a group of 24, which included several Bigla riders in its ranks, was able to break clear from the field and ride out a small advantage. The race conditions become increasingly difficult on wet roads over the last 50km, however, this didn’t stop riders from continuously attempting to escape the field. Eventually, a group of four was able to break free with 35km of road remaining. A little while later, Leah Thomas launched a solo attack and took up the chase of the leaders, however, was reeled back in shortly afterwards by the reduced field. In the final 20km, Bigla was consistently seen at the front of the peloton, but the group of escapees worked well together, and at the end of the day, Franziska Koch took the stage win from that group. In the bunch sprint that ensued behnd, Elizabeth Banks emerged victorious, to take fourth position on the stage, while teammate Leah Thomas was also able to place in the top ten today after finishing in ninth place.
Team Manager Thomas Campana praised the performance of the team after the stage: “Today was yet another good day for the team. It was a hard start to the stage, with rain and strong winds, and at 70km, echelons broke the bunch into 3 groups. However, despite these tough conditions, Lizzy Banks and Leah Thomas are in good form and today they managed to both make it into the top 10 both. Lizzy was able to beat top sprinters and finish 4th, while Leah also finished inside the top ten. We’ve had a top ten result on almost every stage at this race, and particularly with a young group, that’s a strong achievement. We’re looking forward to the final stage tomorrow.”