Canyon-SRAM sprinter Cecchini ready for Ronde van Drenthe
Canyon-SRAM's Elena Cecchini says she's ready to put forth a strong performance at this weekend's Ronde van Drenthe, the second round of the Women's WorldTour. The 138.3-kilometre course includes five cobbled sections and three trips up the man-made VAM-berg, but it is still a race for the sprinters.
“I expect I can give some good competition, and especially since I prefer to start with a flat race rather than a hilly one. I imagine the race will be tough because I’ve seen that there are a lot of motivated teams. Every corner and every breakaway can be dangerous so you have to be focused from start to finish," Cecchini said in a team press release.
She will be joined by a strong team that includes Trixi Worrack, Alexis Ryan, Lisa Brennauer, Tiffany Cromwell and Alena Amialiusik. The Women's WorldTour started at Strade Bianche last weekend, after which, Canyon-SRAM continued on with a team training camp.
“We wanted to keep training as a group as there aren’t so many opportunities throughout the season for that.” said team manager Ronny Lauke, and added a note about the predicted nice weather for Ronde van Drenthe.
“It’s almost too good of a weather forecast for that race. It usually has a better character when there are cold and rainy conditions. The narrow lead into the man-made hill and the cobble sections are the dangerous parts but somehow in the nicer weather conditions we can expect a bigger group to make it to the final.”
Bastianelli brings winning sprint to the Netherlands
Ale Cippolini will lined up at the Ronde van Drenthe with their winning sprinter and former world champion Marta Bastianelli. The Italian won the Omloop van het Hageland earlier in March and will no doubt be looking for another win.
The Italian team will be at both Ronde van Drenthe on Saturday and Drentse Acht van Westerveld on Sunday with the same team: Malgorzata Jasinska, Marta Bastianelli, Marta Tagliaferro, Anna Trevisi, Emilia Fahlin and Ellen Skerritt.
"We know the Dutch classic, a race that suits the characteristics of our ladies Jasinska and Bastianelli, who enjoy the best physical condition," director Fortunato Lacquaniti, said in a team press release. "In our hearts and legs there is the desire to ride well in order to best honour our participation."
Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank continue European campaign at Ronde van Drenthe
American team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank will continue their European campaign at the Women's WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe on Saturday. The will also be on the start line at Trofeo Alfredo Binda (March 20), Gent-Wevelgem (March 27) and Ronde van Vlaanderen (April 3).
Lauren Stephens will lead a strong team that includes Emily Collins, Lauren Hall, Jo Kiesanowski, Lauren Komanski and Brianna Walle. Together the women will work for a top results through the events challenging parcours that includes sections of pavé and steep climbs.
Astana Women's Team send six to Netherland's weekend
Astana Women's Team will send a team of six to the weekend of racing in the Netherlands; Ronde van Drenthe and Drentse Acht van Westvelch.
The Astana Women's Team selected six riders with include Natalya Sokovnina, Fanny Riberot, who'll make her race debut with Astana's jersey, Arianna Fidanza, Ingrid Drexel, Kseniia Dobrynina and Svetlana Vasilieva while the sports director will be former italian road and time trial champion Gabriella Pregnolato.
The team will split as four riders are currently racing with the Kazakhstan National Team at the Biwase Cup. Those riders are Nadezhda Geneleva, Tatyana Geneleva, Viktoriya Pastarnak and Yekaterina Yuraitis. The Biwase Cup, in Vietnam, has a peloton of almost 70 riders and 14 teams and it will conclude on Wednesday March 16th in the town of Thu Dau Mot: after two stages Tatyana Geneleva is in the top10 of the general classification.