After yesterday’s opening stage success, Team DSM and Charlotte Kool lined up on Saturday afternoon at the RideLondon Classique with the aim of defending the race lead and going for stage victory once again. Working well as a unit, the team brought back the early attacker and set up Kool to take bonus seconds at the intermediate and extend her lead in the GC battle.
More attacks followed but things were ultimately back together as the race hit the final classified climb of the day (although it would be taken on again later). Some strong positioning work by Megan Jastrab, Franziska Koch and Megan Jastrab saw Kool and Pfeiffer Georgi make it into a reduced front group of around 30 riders. Riding smartly and cohesively as a duo, Georgi closed down several attacks with Kool chipping in too, following some dangerous moves herself.
It was all together at the front over the climb once more but with the bunch slowing down, a strong attack from Van der Duin quickly gained 30 seconds. With everyone looking at the team, Georgi set a tempo at the front and began to reel in the attacker before Trek-Segafredo also contributed to the pace. Heading into the last two kilometres the gap was at ten seconds and it looked like it was going to be a reduced sprint finale. However, disaster struck for Team DSM as a rider crashed and with nowhere to go, Kool unfortunately hit the deck. She was able to remount her bike and finish the stage okay but the chance of a top stage result was gone, especially with Georgi almost empty after her exceptional work in the chase. Georgi pushed to the line to take an admirable ninth on the stage. With the three kilometre rule applied by the organisers, it means Kool stays in the race lead for Team DSM ahead of tomorrow’s final stage.