World champion Dideriksen wins Ronde van Drenthe

Boels Dolmans rider tops Cecchini, Brand

World champion Amalie Dideriksen (Boels Dolmans) won a four-up sprint in the Dutch town of Hoogeveen on Saturday to stand on the top step of the Ronde van Drenthe podium. The Dane was part of a late race escape that broke away from an elite selection that took shape following the third and final ascent of the VAMberg.

"It was hard. We were always on 10-15 seconds the entire time," said Dideriksen. "We didn't know if it would come back. I tried to keep the gap but save some energy for the sprint."

Dideriksen was up against Italian road champion Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM), Women's WorldTour leader and Strade Bianche winner Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb). Cecchini sparked the breakaway with an attack around 15 kilometres from the finish. The group cooperated well to fend off a chase group that had only seven riders, including two of Dideriksen's teammates.

Longo Borghini, easily the weakest sprinter amongst the four, jumped inside the final kilometre. The trio pounced and handily shut the move down. Brand was first around the final corner and first to open her sprint.

"I thought I had lost it in the corner," admitted Dideriksen. "There were two in front of me, and I didn't want that, but I still managed to get it in the sprint."

With more than a bike length ahead of Cecchini, Dideriksen celebrated her first UCI Women's WorldTour win crossing the line. Cecchini settled for second place ahead of Brand.

National championships aside, the victory is only Dideriksen's fourth professional win. The double junior world champion won the second stage of the Lotto Belgium Tour in her first year as an elite while riding for the Danish National Team. In 2016 she won the opening stage of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour in August before surprising with the Worlds win in October.

"We had a lot of cards to play, and I'm happy with how it played out," said Dideriksen. "The team was great, and it's always an amazing feeling when they put their trust in me."

That trust was demonstrated as early as 30 kilometres from the finish when Dideriksen's former teammate, Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb), slipped away solo and built up an advantage of 30 seconds. Ronde van Drenthe defending champion Chantal Blaak, Olympic road champion Anna van der Breggen, Amy Pieters and Jip van den Bos fully committed to the chase as Dideriksen sat fifth wheel, conserving for the potential sprint.

"It's a great feeling to win in the rainbow jersey," said Dideriksen. "I really hoped to take a win this season. To do it today is amazing."

How it unfolded

Twenty teams fielding six riders apiece lined up for the start of Ronde van Drenthe under sunny skies. The Dutch one-day classic is often partially decided by echelons, and a lack of wind on Saturday left several riders and teams lamenting a lost opportunity for gutter action. The opening hour of the 153 kilometre race was calm and controlled as the peloton navigated the first ascent of the VAMberg and the first three cobble sectors.

German road champion Mieke Kroeger (Canyon-SRAM) attacked before the fourth of seven cobble sectors and managed a maximum advantage of 15-seconds. She was caught on the run-in to sector six.

The peloton emerged from sector six, the longest of the lot, in a single-file line with gaps forming between groups. A front selection of a dozen riders was briefly made that included Cecchini, Longo Borghini, Pieters and Chloe Hosking (Alé Cipollini). Attrition continued on the seventh and final cobbled sector. Around 60 riders survived the cobbles in the main bunch.

Canyon-SRAM and Team Sunweb led into the second ascent of the VAMberg but Pieters took over before the top, leading Cecchini and Van Dijk across the GPM point. The trio along with Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb), Jolien d'Hoore (Wiggle High5) and Dideriksen got a small gap on the descent, but the move did not have staying power.

Non-stop attacks came from the peloton without amounting to any lasting advantage. Jessica Allen (Orica-Scott) gained a small gap and reached the VAMberg for the final ascent with a 10-second advantage – an advantage Van Dijk immediately eliminated as she attacked up and over the climb.

Van Dijk maintained her gap on the descent and stretched it out to 30 seconds several kilometres later. Boels-Dolmans had the numerical advantage in the chase group – five of 15 riders – and put the entire team on the front.

"Ellen is a really strong rider," said Dideriksen. "That was a dangerous move, and my teammates spent a lot of energy to get her back. Sitting on like that, it's a lot of responsibility. I had pressure in the end not only to get a result for myself but for my teammates, who worked so hard for me."

The Boels-Dolmans train overtook Van Dijk with 22 kilometres remaining, and Blaak immediately countered the catch. Brand chased down Blaak. Then Van den Bos countered. The tactical games had begun.

"We had to cover so many attacks and counter-attacks," said Dideriksen. "I ended up being in the move that stayed away.

"Everybody in the group was turning," Dideriksen added. "We didn't know if we'd stay away until the end. It was 10-15-10 seconds. If we started playing games and waiting to work until the sprint, we would have been caught. It was only in the last kilometre that we started to look around at each other."

Dideriksen backed herself for the sprint.

"There were some fast riders in there," she said. "I believed Cecchini would be the fastest of them. I thought I could out-sprint them all, but you never know after a race of 153 kilometres. I've never raced that long before."

She could out-sprint them. And she did.

"It means a lot," said Dideriksen. "It's a really big win for me. I'm grateful to have the opportunity from the team and to pay back my teammates who worked so hard for me."

Longo Borghini, who finished in fourth place from the group of four, remains in the purple UCI Women's WorldTour leader's jersey following the opening two rounds of the 20 round series. Dideriksen jumped to the top of the UCI Women's WorldTour youth classification, earning the blue jersey for her efforts.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team3:51:17 
2Elena Cecchini (Ita) CANYON-SRAM Racing  
3Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
4Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High50:00:02 
5Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott0:00:07 
6Jolien D`Hoore (Bel) Wiggle High50:00:09 
7Marianne Vos (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling  
8Alice Barnes (GBr) DROPS  
9Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
10Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cipollini  
11Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:00:12 
12Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:02:04 
13Hannah Barnes (GBr) CANYON-SRAM Racing0:02:12 
14Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
15Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
16Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling team0:05:57 
17Lisa Klein (Ger) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling team  
18Nina Kessler (Ned) Hitec Products  
19Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
20Kirsten Wild (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling  
21Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica Scott  
22Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
23Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling  
24Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica Scott  
25Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
26Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana  
27Lauren Kitchen (Aus) WM3 Pro Cycling  
28Janneke Ensing (Ned) Ale Cipollini  
29Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women  
30Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products0:06:01 
31Romy Kasper (Ger) Ale Cipollini  
32Jessica Allen (Aus) Orica Scott  
33Julia Soek (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
34Roxane Knetemann (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:06:13 
35Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:07:57 
36Lisa Brennauer (Ger) CANYON-SRAM Racing  
37Mieke Kröger (Ger) CANYON-SRAM Racing  
DNFKarol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
DNFSoraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
DNFDaiva Tuslaite (Ltu) Ale Cipollini  
DNFJelena Eric (Srb) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFCorinna Lechner (Ger) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFUrša Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFMia Radotic (Cro) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFAnna Zita Maria Stricker (Ita) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFBarbara Guarischi (Ita) CANYON-SRAM Racing  
DNFTrixi Worrack (Ger) CANYON-SRAM Racing  
DNFAllie Dragoo (USA) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling team  
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Swi) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling team  
DNFChristina Perchtold (Aut) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling team  
DNFStephanie Pohl (Ger) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling team  
DNFWhitney Allison (USA) Colavita/Bianchi  
DNFAstrid Gassner (Aut) Colavita/Bianchi  
DNFKendelle Hodges (Aus) Colavita/Bianchi  
DNFGillian Ellsay (Can) Colavita/Bianchi  
DNFJessica Mundy (Aus) Colavita/Bianchi  
DNFAmber Pierce (USA) Colavita/Bianchi  
DNFRachele Barbieri (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFSheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFWilleke Knol (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFJoelle Numainville (Can) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFMarta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFAbby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) DROPS  
DNFLucy Shaw (GBr) DROPS  
DNFAnnabel Simpson (GBr) DROPS  
DNFRebecca Durrell (GBr) DROPS  
DNFSusanna Zorzi (Ita) DROPS  
DNFEri Yonamine (Jpn) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFCoralie Demay (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFEugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFSimona Frapporti (Ita) Hitec Products  
DNFIlona Hoeksma (Ned) Hitec Products  
DNFTone Lima Hatteland (Nor) Hitec Products  
DNFThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products  
DNFTara Gins (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women CT  
DNFKelly Markus (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women CT  
DNFMonique Van De Ree (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women CT  
DNFSaartje Vandenbroucke (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women CT  
DNFBryony Van Velzen (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women CT  
DNFKim De Baat (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota  
DNFAnnalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota  
DNFMaaike Polspoel (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota  
DNFTatiana Guderzo (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota  
DNFWinanda Spoor (Ned) Lensworld-Kuota  
DNFElise Delzenne (Fra) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFAnnelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFChantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFTrine Schmidt (Den) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFKaat Van Der Muelen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFGeorgia Williams (NZl) Orica Scott  
DNFKatrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica Scott  
DNFDemi De Jong (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CT  
DNFAnna Knauer (Ger) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CT  
DNFEva Buurman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CT  
DNFChanella Stougje (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CT  
DNFEsra Tromp (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CT  
DNFNatalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CT  
DNFLeah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women  
DNFAnouska Koster (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling  
DNFAnna Plichta (Pol) WM3 Pro Cycling  
DNFMoniek Tenniglo (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling  
DNFJennifer Tetrick (USA) Team Tibco Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFIngrid Drexel Clouthier (Mex) Team Tibco Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFHeather Fischer (USA) Team Tibco Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFKathrin Hammes (Ger) Team Tibco Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFLauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFBrianna Walle (USA) Team Tibco Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFPernille Mathiesen (Den) Team Veloconcept Women  
DNFSara Mustonen Lichan (Swe) Team Veloconcept Women  
DNFCamilla Pedersen (Den) Team Veloconcept Women  
DNFSara Penton (Swe) Team Veloconcept Women  
DNFChristina Siggaard (Den) Team Veloconcept Women  
DNFCarmen Small (USA) Team Veloconcept Women  
DNFAnnette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle High5  
DNFGrace Garner (GBr) Wiggle High5  
DNFLucy Garner (GBr) Wiggle High5  
DNFJulie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5  

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