Van der Breggen on Hall's California stage win: It wasn't a difficult choice
18 May 2019 10:08
With the winners of both the 2017 and 2018 editions in their ranks, Boels Dolmans had two of the big favourites for the 2019 Tour of California Women's Race in its line-up. Anna van der Breggen and Katie Hall more than lived up to expectations, taking a one-two at the Mount Baldy summit finish to stage 2 of the Tour of California Women's Race on Friday. Van der Breggen had soloed to victory on Thursday's stage 1, in great part due to Hall's earlier work. In turn, Van der Breggen was happy to yield to Hall on stage 2 after the two had ridden the rest of the peloton off their wheels. The stage victory carried special significance for Hall: "As a California resident, it's a special race for me, and I've won a stage in four of the last five years. It's my home race and always has good, hard mountainous courses, and that's my thing.ADVERTISEMENT "I also went to college at the base of Mount Baldy, and so it was really cool to race it," she continued. "I wanted to win this stage, but I didn't know if it was possible. When we hit Mount Baldy Road, our DS Danny Stam said, 'Omer Shapira [Canyon-SRAM] is off the front, so pick up the pace'. I did that, we caught her and went one-two." Van der Breggen couldn't follow her teammate's pace at first, but she bridged to the front further up the climb. Hall and Van der Breggen then left Shapira behind in the final kilometres, riding towards the finish together. With her overall lead secured, Van der Breggen did not contest the stage, enabling Hall to win on home soil. "Shapira was in front and climbing well, and we had to do something," race leader Van der Breggen said. "Katie set a pace that was really fast and hard to follow. I could feel that I could close it to Katie, and we could do it together from that point on. We didn't talk about the win. I knew that if Katie and I could arrive together, it would be nice for her to get a stage win in her home race with her family waiting here on top. It wasn't a difficult choice."
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