Kraak wins a stage in UAE Tour, just like Wiebes and Kopecky: "But I'm not used to winning" Cycling

Kraak wins a stage in UAE Tour, just like Wiebes and Kopecky: "But I'm not used to winning"

Kraak wins a stage in UAE Tour, just like Wiebes and Kopecky: "But I'm not used to winning"

The UAE Tour turned into one big celebration for the Low Countries. Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx-Protime) took the win in the first two flat stages, while teammate Lotte Kopecky won the queen stage. The fourth and final stage was then won by Amber Kraak, who narrowly beat Wiebes and Kopecky.

Kraak's victory was the most unpredictable of the four. The Dutch rider sped off, leaving the early breakaway group behind, and managed to cling onto a small lead all the way until the finish line. "I didn't want to look back," the FDJ-Suez rider admitted afterwards in the flash interview.

And that was for good reason: Kraak was relentlessly pursued by a fast-approaching peloton, led by the sprint train of SD Worx-Protime. "Through my earpiece, I heard from my teammates and from the team car that I had to keep going, so I knew it was very close."

"That is why I didn't dare look back and throw my hands in the air too early. This is my first individual victory in the WorldTour, so I'm not used to winning. Next time, I'll celebrate with my hands in the air," she laughed.

Wiebes and Kopecky are too late, but still return home satisfied

Behind Kraak, it was none other than Wiebes who managed to win the sprint of the peloton. "This was a great preparation race for the classics. That feeling is already really good. The team did everything to catch the breakaway. It's a pity I came up just short, especially after all the work by Femke Markus, Femke Gerritse and Barbara Guarischi. But in the end, the general classification of Lotte Kopecky was the most important thing for us as a team. This is a great start to the season for us. This race served mainly as preparation for the classics and was a good test for our sprint train."

"My confidence in my sprint train has increased even further, especially with Lotte as the final lead-out, who I am comfortable in following blindly in the finale. We've shown some great stuff together. The feeling leading up to the classics is good, especially now that I know that my sprint is good. Now we have one more training camp in Spain to connect the dots."

Aside from Wiebes' stage victories (and that of Kopecky), the Belgian also managed to win the overall classification. "I had hoped for this overall victory beforehand, although I didn't really expect it. It's very nice to win this round. I really enjoyed my time here in the UAE. And the skydiving in Dubai."

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments

More Cycling News