After a hilly opening stage, stage two was all for the sprinters, and Trek-Segafredo’s Lotta Lepistö sprinted to the win, giving Trek-Segafredo its second victory in two days at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. The Finnish champion took the win ahead of Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Valcar Cylance Cycling) and Elena Cecchini (Canyon SRAM Racing).
Ruth Winder, the winner of the first stage, retained the leader’s jersey in the mostly flat 100-kilometre stage that saw little action off the front with Trek-Segafredo keeping a close eye on any dangerous moves, and most teams content for a bunched ending.
“Today was a more flat stage, and I tried to stay sheltered as long as I could before the sprint. There were some attacks, but the team was always there, so I didn’t have to worry about that at all,” said Lepistö.
After 70 kilometres no breakaway had established, and it was apparent the stage was headed towards a fast finish and the sprinters would have their say.
“In the end, it was a bunch sprint, and it was quite hectic in the last 10 kilometres,” explained Lepistö. “I think we lost each other a little with five kilometres to go, but I still had three of the girls there with me in the last two kilometres. They helped keep me out of the wind and then I used Sunweb’s train in the last 600 meters. I jumped at 250 metres to go and won! I was happy with the win and also that Ruth (Winder) could keep her jersey.”
The race continues Saturday with stage three, a pivotal day for the overall classification. Ruth Winder holds a slim six-second lead over second place Soraya Paladin (Alé Cipollini) with Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team) a further two seconds down.