Carlee Taylor and Jessie Daams both finished in top ten at Route de France
Last week six Lotto Soudal Ladies participated in the Route de France, a seven-day stage race. Two riders of the team finished in top ten. Carlee Taylor was fourth overall, 2’18” behind winner Elisa Longo Borghini. Jessie Daams finished on place ten, at 4’11”. The fifth stage on Friday, with finish at La Planche des Belles Filles, turned out to be crucial for GC.
Carlee Taylor: “I’m happy with the fourth place on GC. The day of the queen stage to La Planche des Belles Filles really was tough. Three years ago I got third there. Before that climb we had to cover another one and that was actually tougher. It was a narrow climb of 9.5 kilometres. Amy Cure did a great job in the first half of that climb, she set a good pace. The last two kilometres of the climb were really steep and the group split up there, that was actually the hardest part of the stage. I tried to follow the main contenders: Elisa Longo Borghini, Claudia Lichtenberg and Amber Neben. But when the strongest riders took off I rode at my threshold, otherwise I wouldn’t recover after the climb. In the descent I and some others caught up with the escapees, except for Claudia and Elisa. On La Planche des Belles Filles I followed my own pace and got fifth. I couldn’t respond to the attack of Amber Neben. I gave everything I got, but was beaten by the better riders of that day. I was happy with my fifth place that day and I moved up to place four on GC.”
“I had to gain at least one minute to still get on the podium, but the last stage wasn’t as hard as I expected. The GC was decided on the penultimate day. I only had to look out for the rider behind me, she followed at only three seconds, so I had to make sure there would be no gap between her and me in the sprint. I’m happy with how the race went and hope to keep up the form the next weeks. First I’ll focus on my recovery the next days and then I will ride the Trophée d’Or (23/08 – 26/08), afterwards I’ll race in Plouay (29/08).”
Jessie Daams: “The tenth place on GC is a nice result. In the prologue I set a good time and didn’t lose too many seconds. In a stage race it’s always important to have a good start. On Friday it was the queen stage to La Planche des Belles Filles. In the descent of the first climb I lost time, unfortunately. I had reached the top in a group together with Carlee. In the descent there was a big crash. I didn’t hit the ground, but I was just behind it and lost contact with the other riders in the group. I couldn’t return and I was disappointed about that. My next race will be Plouay, then I’ll ride the Holland Ladies Tour (01/09 – 06/09) and the Lotto Belgium Tour (08/09 – 11/09). In Plouay I want to get into the finale with the best. It’s usually a race with lots of attacks, you need to be attentive and then you can set a good result.”