A hard crash in stage two could not stop Thalita de Jong to impress in both stages on Saturday. In the morning she just missed the podium, followed by an impressive time trial in the evening.
Racing in Belgium is always hectic. The stages in the Baloise Ladies Tour are no exception. In the second stage Thalita de Jong was in the front with her Liv Racing TeqFind team mates, but with four kilometres to go there was a big crash with De Jong involved. With some abrasions and a wound to her elbow De Jong finished the stage. One day later De Jong was able to take the start in the morning stage to Knokke-Heist. It was another hectic stage, with a nervous peloton due to the wind.
Liv Racing TeqFind was one of the teams who tried to split the peloton into echelons, but eventually it came down to a sprint again. De Jong showed another strong performance and finished fourth. “My elbow still hurt this morning, but I gave it a try. The stage was very hectic, but the legs felt good and together with Jeanne, Eva and Sabrina we tried to split the peloton. All came back together however, so we prepared for a sprint. Eva was well positioned in the final kilometres, but I lost some positions and had to get back in the front. With a little help of the back wind I passed more than 20 riders in the final metres and finished fourth. A result that makes me very happy”, De Jong commented after the stage.
In the evening a time trial over 17,8 kilometres was the second assignment of the day. De Jong was one of the early starters as she lost some time after the crash in stage 2. Still troubled by her elbow De Jong was committed to give it all. With a time of 23 minutes and 18 seconds she was in the hot seat for a long time. Eventually this was good for another 4th place.
“It was a long time ago that I rode a time trial of this distance. We made some small adjustments to my handlebar so my elbow would hurt a little less. Eventually not only my elbow hurt, but also the legs. During my time trial I passed a few riders, so I knew I did a good job. My position on the bike was good and also my rhythm was good. It was fun to be in the hotseat for a long time. I am very satisfied with my time trial. Especially after the hard crash of yesterday”, De Jong told after her strong performance.