D'hoore set to defend Ronde van Drenthe title in Women's WorldTour round two

Wiggle High5's Jolien D'hoore will make her debut on the road at the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe, the second instalment of the new Women's WorldTour, held on Saturday in the Netherlands.

The Belgian road champion will line up as the defending champion, and eager to start her road season after focusing primarily on track racing during the fall and winter months.

"I'm really looking forward to joining my teammates again on the road," D'hoore said in a team press release. "I will try to make [Drenthe] as awesome as last year but honestly I don't know what to expect.

"I will have to wait and see how my legs react after so much track time. We have a very strong team and I'm convinced that we can pull off a great team result together. I'm excited to be back and super motivated for Saturday."

D'hoore raced in the UCI Track World Cup series and culminated her efforts at the World Championships in London last week. She was vying for a top place in the Scratch Race and the Omnium.

She only managed a sixth place in the Omnium and fourth in the Scratch Race. In an interview with Cyclingnews, D'hoore said her season targets are Tour of Flanders and track racing at the Olympic Games. 

"Maybe the track worlds weren't really what I expected but I’m still hopeful for the future.

"For now it's good for my mind to do some road racing. Especially when I can start my road season in Drenthe."

Last year, D’hoore had a stellar start to her season with a victory at Ronde van Drenthe, which was a part of the former Women’s World Cup. She also took the lead in the World Cup series because of that victory.

It was a win made even more special because it was her 25th birthday. She won the race ahead of Amy Pieters, who raced for Liv-Plantur but is now racing with D'hoore on Wiggle High5, and Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans) was third.

This year, Wiggle High5 will line up with D'hoore, Giorgia Bronzini, Chloe Hosking, Emma Johansson, Elisa Longo Borghini and Pieters.

"Last year was an amazing day for me and the team; it was my birthday, my first World Cup win, my first time as World Cup leader…"

The Women's WorldTour started last weekend with Strade Bianche. World champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) won the race ahead of Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) and Emma Johansson (Wiggle-High5).

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