Bastianelli wins Ronde van Drenthe

Blaak takes second, Van Dijk third

Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtu Cycling) won the Ronde van Drenthe beating Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) and Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) in a three-way sprint. Bastianelli also takes the lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour. 

Van Dijk sparked the race-winning move when she attacked after the final stretch of cobbles. The Dutchwoman spent a number of kilometres alone before she was joined by Blaak and Bastianelli, and the three worked together to hold off the chasing group behind.

The gap was small, but the trio had done enough to hold the chasers off and contest the victory between themselves. Blaak tried to take the sprint from behind, but Bastianelli was quick to react to her and didn’t allow her to pass, beating her by a slim margin on the line.

How it happened

At 165.7 km (plus a five-kilometre neutral zone), the Ronde van Drenthe was the longest UCI Women’s WorldTour race ever. One cobblestone section had been struck from the course due to mud and rain, but this still left 22.2 km of rough cobbles in six separate sections plus three ascents of the remodelled VAM-berg. The steep climb up a landfill site now also includes 200 metres of cobbles.

Rain and wind also left their mark on the race. The first hour was raced in the pouring rain, leading to several crashes and punctures, but the sun came out later on. This and the first passage of the VAM-berg after 22 km split the peloton into five groups, the first two of which came together just before the opening cobblestone section to form a peloton of about forty riders.

Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Bigla) attacked from this group after the fourth cobblestone section, with 91 km still to go, and built an advantage of up to 1:40 minutes. Sperotto was caught again when echelons formed in the crosswinds leading up to the second passage of the VAM-berg.

Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked from the leading group of sixteen riders on the steep, cobbled slopes. The Australian had a 30-second gap at the final passage of the VAM-berg with 51 km to go, winning her the special mountain prize. Behind Brown, two groups had come together to form a peloton of some 25 riders, but nobody took charge of the chase. Brown’s advantage grew to almost two minutes as she entered the penultimate cobblestone section with 25 km to go.

The rough, round cobbles were caked with mud after several days of rain, and Brown’s efforts began to take a toll on her. She came out of the 5.6 km of continuous cobbles (and mud) 1:15 minutes ahead of the chasing group, and her advantage decreased further in the headwind that followed. Brown was in sight of the chasers when she inadvertently took a wrong turn at a roundabout and was caught.

Boels Dolmans forced echelons and dropped several of the sprinters from the first group, and Blaak led the remaining twelve riders onto and through the final cobblestone section with 12 km left to race. Van Dijk attacked when the group reached asphalt with just over nine km to go and got a small gap as the other riders hesitated.

The former world time trial champion settled into an aerodynamic position and powered on while the group fell apart behind her. Blaak and Bastianelli were less than 10 seconds behind Van Dijk, but as Bastianelli did not contribute to the chase, they could not close the gap at first.

Eventually, Bastianelli started taking turns with Blaak, and they caught up with Van Dijk with four kilometres to go. Van Dijk tried a final attack but could not get away, and the trio entered the final kilometre together. Bastianelli was forced to lead the group onto the finishing straight as the two other riders stayed on her wheel, and Blaak opened the sprint. While Van Dijk did not contest the sprint and finished third, Bastianelli countered Blaak’s acceleration and could narrowly keep the Dutch champion behind herself to win.

Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans) beat Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal) for fourth place in the sprint of the next group 20 seconds later.

Following her fourth place in the Strade Bianche, European champion Bastianelli is now the leader of the UCI Women’s WorldTour. Bastianelli’s teammate Sofia Bertizzolo was the best-placed U23 rider in 33rd place and takes the lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour youth ranking that she won last year. The next race in the series is the Trofeo Alfredo Binda on Saturday 23 April.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling4:24:14 
2Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
3Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Trek - Segafredo  
4Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:00:20 
5Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
6Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
7Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb  
8Kirsten Wild (Ned) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
9Romy Kasper (Ger) Ale Cipollini  
10Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
11Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC - Liv0:00:36 
12Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:37 
13Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:00:43 
14Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton Scott0:01:15 
15Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cipollini0:01:18 
16Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
17Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
18Lotta Pauliina Lepistö (Fin) Trek - Segafredo  
19Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
20Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Movistar Team Women  
21Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
22Evy Kuijpers (Ned) CCC - Liv  
23Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
24Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women  
25Elizabeth Banks (GBr) Bigla  
26Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek - Segafredo  
27Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
28Lauren Kitchen (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope0:01:54 
29Alison Jackson (Can) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
30Julie Leth (Den) Bigla  
31Janneke Ensing (Ned) Team Sunweb  
32Grace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton Scott  
33Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling  
34Mieke Kröger (Ger) Team Virtu Cycling  
35Amber Van Der Hulst (Ned) Netherlands0:03:00 
36Annelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:03:01 
37Rotem Gafinovitz (Isr) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
38Eva Buurman (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
39Roxane Fournier (Fra) Movistar Team Women  
40Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Hitec Products - Birk Sport  
41Ella Harris (NZl) Canyon-Sram Racing  
42Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
43Gracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton Scott  
44Danielle Christmas (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:04:11 
45Pfeiffer Georgi (GBr) Team Sunweb  
46Sandra Alonso Dominguez (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
47Jelena Erić (Srb) Ale Cipollini  
48Nina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank0:04:21 
DNFChristine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
DNFKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Ale Cipollini  
DNFNadia Quagliotto (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Swi) Bigla  
DNFMaria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) Bigla  
DNFMartina Alzini (Ita) Bigla  
DNFValerie Demey (Bel) CCC - Liv  
DNFMarta Lach (Pol) CCC - Liv  
DNFJeanne Korevaar (Ned) CCC - Liv  
DNFRiejanne Markus (Ned) CCC - Liv  
DNFVictorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFCoralie Demay (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFEmilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFGreta Richioud (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFMaëlle Grossetete (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton Scott  
DNFLucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton Scott  
DNFNina Buijsman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFLorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFFemke Markus (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFMarit Raaijmakers (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFEsther Van Veen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFIngrid Drexel Clouthier (Mex) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFKendall Ryan (USA) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFRozanne Slik (Ned) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFBarbara Guarischi (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFTrine Schmidt (Den) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFKatarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFLauretta Hanson (Aus) Trek - Segafredo  
DNFAbigail Van Twisk (GBr) Trek - Segafredo  
DNFAnna Plichta (Pol) Trek - Segafredo  
DNFElisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
DNFMarta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
DNFDalia Muccioli (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
DNFSilvia Persico (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
DNFIlaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar Cylance Cycling  
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
DNFErica Magnaldi (Ita) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
DNFLea Lin Teutenberg (Ger) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
DNFLara Vieceli (Ita) WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team  
DNFHenrietta Colborne (GBr) Biehler Pro Cycling  
DNFMerel Hofman (Ned) Biehler Pro Cycling  
DNFRoos Hoogeboom (Ned) Biehler Pro Cycling  
DNFMelanie Klement (Ned) Biehler Pro Cycling  
DNFNatalie Van Gogh (Ned) Biehler Pro Cycling  
DNFNienke Wasmus (Ned) Biehler Pro Cycling  
DNFAinara Elbusto Arteaga (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFNatalie Grinczer (GBr) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFLuisa Ibarrola Albizua (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFIsabel Martin Martin (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFAroa Gorostiza Ulloa (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFGrace Garner (GBr) Hitec Products - Birk Sport  
DNFLucy Garner (GBr) Hitec Products - Birk Sport  
DNFAmalie Lutro (Nor) Hitec Products - Birk Sport  
DNFChanella Stougje (Ned) Hitec Products - Birk Sport  
DNFLonneke Uneken (Ned) Hitec Products - Birk Sport  
DNFDemi De Jong (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFChantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFThi That Nguyen (Vie) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFLourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFGloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFAlba Teruel Ribes (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFSusanne Andersen (Nor) Team Sunweb  
DNFJulia Soek (Ned) Team Sunweb  
DNFEva Bijwaard (Ned) Netherlands  
DNFMaaike Boogaard (Ned) Netherlands  
DNFCathalijne Hoolwerf (Ned) Netherlands  
DNFEva Jonkers (Ned) Netherlands  
DNFAnne Tauber (Ned) Netherlands  
DNFSara Mustonen (Swe) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFEsther Meisels (Isr) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFKathrin Schweinberger (Aut) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFChristina Schweinberger (Aut) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFKirstie Van Haaften (Ned) Health Mate - Ladies Team  
DNFKylie Waterreus (Ned) Health Mate - Ladies Team  

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