(image credit: AA Drink-Leontien.nl)
Strong winds caused havoc and high speeds in equal amounts during the five laps of the Winsum circuit, splitting the pack into seven distinct groups at one point. A group of 17 escaped and was gradually whittled down to 11; but with the likes of Visser (Skil-Argos), Gunnewijk(GreenEDGE), Arndt (GreenEDGE), Kasper (RusVelo), Van Dijk (Specialized-Lululemon), Worrack (Specialized-Lululemon), Wild (AA Drink Leontien.nl), Blaak (AA Drink Leontien.nl), Slappendel (Rabobank) and Vos (Rabobank) onboard, their lead just kept on increasing - as they entered the final lap, they had 8'03" on the chasers and didn't show any signs of taking it easy.
Kirsten Wild mounted a solo attack after coming within 2km of the finish line with Trixi Worrack and then Marianne Vos responding - however, neither could catch her and she crossed the line solo. Worrack dropped off and was replaced by Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Specialized-Lululemon) who once again powered past for second and left Vos, who retains her leadership in the General Classification) to take third.
Stage 4b, taking place this afternoon, is a 26.5km team time trial that is expected to prove pivotal in the eventual outcome of the race.
1. Kirsten Wild AA Drink-Leontien.nl 01:42:25
2. Ina Yoko Teutenberg Specialized-Lululemon 00:07
3. Marianne Vos Rabobank ST
4. Judith Arndt GreenEDGE ST
5. Ellen Van Dijk Specialized-Lululemon ST
6. Adrie Visser Skil-Argos ST
7. Romy Kasper RusVelo ST
8. Loes Gunnewijk GreenEDGE ST
9. Chantal Blaak AA Drink-Leontien.nl ST
10. Trixi Worrack Specialized-Lululemon ST
Interesting stuff: Official race report / Rabobank report
(now with Lululemon)
Specialized-Lululemon win the Team Time Trial, GreenEDGE second and Rabobank third, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Specialized-Lululemon) takes General Classification leadership from Marianne Vos (Rabobank).
General Classification after Stage 4b
1. Ina-Yoko Teutengerg (Specialized-Lululemon) 7h55'21"
2. Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-Lululemon) +7"
3. Marianne Vos (Rabobank) +43" (Full GC here)
Follow the official race Twitter @ewachttour for details during each stage and information on the race. Local TV RTL7 is broadcasting a short highlights show daily, with the Stage 4a edition being at 14:30 BST (+1 hour for local time/CEST). Stage 4b and 5 will be shown on Sunday, also at 14:30. Stage 4b can be seen here (Silverlight required).