World champion Dideriksen wins Ronde van Drenthe

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

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team3:51:17
2Elena Cecchini (Ita) CANYON-SRAM RacingRow 1 - Cell 2
3Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 2 - Cell 2
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 CyclingRow 6 - Cell 2
8Alice Barnes (GBr) DROPSRow 7 - Cell 2
9Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale CipolliniRow 9 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling team0:05:57
17Lisa Klein (Ger) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling teamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Nina Kessler (Ned) Hitec ProductsRow 17 - Cell 2
19Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 18 - Cell 2
20Kirsten Wild (Ned) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 19 - Cell 2
21Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica ScottRow 20 - Cell 2
22Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 21 - Cell 2
23Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 22 - Cell 2
24Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica ScottRow 23 - Cell 2
25Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 24 - Cell 2
26Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City LjubljanaRow 25 - Cell 2
27Lauren Kitchen (Aus) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 26 - Cell 2
28Janneke Ensing (Ned) Ale CipolliniRow 27 - Cell 2
29Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb WomenRow 28 - Cell 2
30Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products0:06:01
31Romy Kasper (Ger) Ale CipolliniRow 30 - Cell 2
32Jessica Allen (Aus) Orica ScottRow 31 - Cell 2
33Julia Soek (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 32 - Cell 2
34Roxane Knetemann (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:06:13
35Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:07:57
36Lisa Brennauer (Ger) CANYON-SRAM RacingRow 35 - Cell 2
37Mieke Kröger (Ger) CANYON-SRAM RacingRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFKarol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
DNFSoraya Paladin (Ita) Ale CipolliniRow 38 - Cell 2
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Ale CipolliniRow 39 - Cell 2
DNFDaiva Tuslaite (Ltu) Ale CipolliniRow 40 - Cell 2
DNFJelena Eric (Srb) BTC City LjubljanaRow 41 - Cell 2
DNFCorinna Lechner (Ger) BTC City LjubljanaRow 42 - Cell 2
DNFUrša Pintar (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 43 - Cell 2
DNFMia Radotic (Cro) BTC City LjubljanaRow 44 - Cell 2
DNFAnna Zita Maria Stricker (Ita) BTC City LjubljanaRow 45 - Cell 2
DNFBarbara Guarischi (Ita) CANYON-SRAM RacingRow 46 - Cell 2
DNFTrixi Worrack (Ger) CANYON-SRAM RacingRow 47 - Cell 2
DNFAllie Dragoo (USA) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling teamRow 48 - Cell 2
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Swi) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling teamRow 49 - Cell 2
DNFChristina Perchtold (Aut) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling teamRow 50 - Cell 2
DNFStephanie Pohl (Ger) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling teamRow 51 - Cell 2
DNFWhitney Allison (USA) Colavita/BianchiRow 52 - Cell 2
DNFAstrid Gassner (Aut) Colavita/BianchiRow 53 - Cell 2
DNFKendelle Hodges (Aus) Colavita/BianchiRow 54 - Cell 2
DNFGillian Ellsay (Can) Colavita/BianchiRow 55 - Cell 2
DNFJessica Mundy (Aus) Colavita/BianchiRow 56 - Cell 2
DNFAmber Pierce (USA) Colavita/BianchiRow 57 - Cell 2
DNFRachele Barbieri (Ita) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 58 - Cell 2
DNFSheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 59 - Cell 2
DNFWilleke Knol (Ned) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 60 - Cell 2
DNFJoelle Numainville (Can) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 61 - Cell 2
DNFMarta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 62 - Cell 2
DNFAbby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) DROPSRow 63 - Cell 2
DNFLucy Shaw (GBr) DROPSRow 64 - Cell 2
DNFAnnabel Simpson (GBr) DROPSRow 65 - Cell 2
DNFRebecca Durrell (GBr) DROPSRow 66 - Cell 2
DNFSusanna Zorzi (Ita) DROPSRow 67 - Cell 2
DNFEri Yonamine (Jpn) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 68 - Cell 2
DNFCoralie Demay (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 69 - Cell 2
DNFEugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 70 - Cell 2
DNFSimona Frapporti (Ita) Hitec ProductsRow 71 - Cell 2
DNFIlona Hoeksma (Ned) Hitec ProductsRow 72 - Cell 2
DNFTone Lima Hatteland (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 73 - Cell 2
DNFThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 74 - Cell 2
DNFTara Gins (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women CTRow 75 - Cell 2
DNFKelly Markus (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women CTRow 76 - Cell 2
DNFMonique Van De Ree (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women CTRow 77 - Cell 2
DNFSaartje Vandenbroucke (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women CTRow 78 - Cell 2
DNFBryony Van Velzen (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women CTRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFKim De Baat (Bel) Lensworld-KuotaRow 80 - Cell 2
DNFAnnalisa Cucinotta (Ita) Lensworld-KuotaRow 81 - Cell 2
DNFMaaike Polspoel (Bel) Lensworld-KuotaRow 82 - Cell 2
DNFTatiana Guderzo (Ita) Lensworld-KuotaRow 83 - Cell 2
DNFWinanda Spoor (Ned) Lensworld-KuotaRow 84 - Cell 2
DNFElise Delzenne (Fra) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 85 - Cell 2
DNFAnnelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 86 - Cell 2
DNFChantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 87 - Cell 2
DNFTrine Schmidt (Den) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 88 - Cell 2
DNFKaat Van Der Muelen (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 89 - Cell 2
DNFGeorgia Williams (NZl) Orica ScottRow 90 - Cell 2
DNFKatrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica ScottRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFDemi De Jong (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CTRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFAnna Knauer (Ger) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CTRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFEva Buurman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CTRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFChanella Stougje (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CTRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFEsra Tromp (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CTRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFNatalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil CTRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFLeah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb WomenRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFAnouska Koster (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFAnna Plichta (Pol) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFMoniek Tenniglo (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFJennifer Tetrick (USA) Team Tibco Silicon Valley BankRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFIngrid Drexel Clouthier (Mex) Team Tibco Silicon Valley BankRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFHeather Fischer (USA) Team Tibco Silicon Valley BankRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFKathrin Hammes (Ger) Team Tibco Silicon Valley BankRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFLauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco Silicon Valley BankRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFBrianna Walle (USA) Team Tibco Silicon Valley BankRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFPernille Mathiesen (Den) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFSara Mustonen Lichan (Swe) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFCamilla Pedersen (Den) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFSara Penton (Swe) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFChristina Siggaard (Den) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFCarmen Small (USA) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFAnnette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle High5Row 114 - Cell 2
DNFGrace Garner (GBr) Wiggle High5Row 115 - Cell 2
DNFLucy Garner (GBr) Wiggle High5Row 116 - Cell 2
DNFJulie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5Row 117 - Cell 2

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