Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) won the Ronde van Drenthe, her thirteenth victory of the season, outsprinting second-place Elena Cecchini (SD Worx) and Eleonora Gasparrini (Valcar-Travel & Service) who finished third.
Team DSM had pursued an aggressive strategy all day, culminating in a dominant performance on the final ascent of the VAM Berg; of the seven riders that escaped on this final climb, 14km from the finish, four represented Team DSM. Floortje Mackaij, Franziska Koch and Pfeiffer Georgi (all Team DSM women) rotated on the front of this group, while Wiebes sat protected in the wheels, gathering her strength for the sprint finish.
“The team were incredible today,” said Wiebes at the finish. “We set out with a plan to race aggressively and that’s exactly what we did. Pfeiffer made a really good move and the rest of us looked after each other well in the chasing group. On the last time up the VAM-berg I wasn’t sure how the legs would be after a hard race but they were great and four of us made the front. We just went full all the way to the finish and the girls were superb in their lead-out to set up the sprint. I’m just really happy that I was able to finish it off for the the team and end our season in a really good way.”
Moved from its traditional position as the opening act of the Spring Classics due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ronde van Drenthe concludes the Women’s WorldTour Series this season. While the overall leader of the series, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) could not be overtaken despite her absence from the startlist, the Ronde van Drenthe’s own prestige guaranteed an exciting, frenetic race.
The day’s first big attack arrived after just ten kilometres as Lieke Nooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg) rode away and built up a lead that reached three minutes.
While she settled into a rhythm befitting a long, solo breakaway, Janneke Ensing (Team BikeExchange Women) marked her last professional race before retirement with her own long-range attack. On the grassy cobbles, nearly indistinguishable from the fields alongside them, Ensing bridged across to Nooijen as the peloton behind also sped up, halving the leaders’ advantage to 1:45.
Shortly after she had been caught by Ensing, Nooijen encountered mechanical problems and was forced to drop back to the peloton. Ensing, too, was reabsorbed back into the peloton 85km from the finish.
Five kilometres later, on the next cobbled section, another breakaway formed. First, Alice Barnes (Canyon-Sram Racing) accelerated, drawing out a small group. Though this group was not allowed to escape, Kirstie Van Haaften (Parkhotel Valkenburg) slipped off the front and established a one minute advantage. She was countered by Margaux Vigie (Valcar Travel & Service) who joined the lone leader after a short chase.
Ahead of the first ascent of the VAM Berg, Team DSM controlled the peloton, and their acceleration decimated the leading duo’s lead. As the time-gap collapsed, Franziska Koch (Team DSM) jumped across while her teammates blocked the road behind her. This attack, however, was short-lived as the peloton fractured on the VAM Berg but no decisive splits formed and the race regrouped on the descent.
With 50km still to race, a strong breakaway containing Demi Vollering (SD Worx) formed, but once again it did not prove decisive, following a pursuit led by Valcar Travel & Service.
The next move, an all-British affair composed of Barnes and Georgi, broke free 40km from the finish, and they maintained a slender advantage of about 20 seconds over two ascents of the VAM Berg. Behind them, riders launched their own attacks on the climb but Barnes and Georgi still remained out front.
It was only 16km from the finish that their attack was finally thwarted, as they were caught just before the final ascent of the VAM Berg. On the climb, Elise Chabbey (Canyon SRAM Racing) accelerated and was immediately joined by Mackaij and Cecchini. Behind them, Wiebes, Georgi and Koch, as well as Gasparrini strained to stay in contact with the front of the race and a small gap formed between these two groups. Bolstered by their strength in numbers and Mackaij’s refusal to work at the front, Team DSM were able to close this gap, creating a group of seven on the descent that would contest the final sprint.
Wiebes, the favourite from this position, was then expertly led out by her teammates who finished fifth, sixth and seventh behind Wiebes, Cecchini, Gasparrini and Chabbey to cap a perfect day of racing for Team DSM.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Team DSM||4:07:34|
|2||Elena Cecchini (Ita) Team SD Worx|
|3||Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service|
|4||Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM Racing|
|5||Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team DSM|
|6||Pfeiffer Georgi (GBr) Team DSM|
|7||Franziska Koch (Ger) Team DSM||0:00:06|
|8||Susanne Andersen (Nor) Team DSM||0:01:15|
|9||Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service|
|10||Nina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|11||Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing|
|12||Amber van der Hulst (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg|
|13||Sarah Roy (Aus) Team BikeExchange|
|14||Charlotte Kool (Ned) NXTG Racing|
|15||Romy Kasper (Ger) Jumbo-Visma Women Team|
|16||Mischa Bredewold (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg|
|17||Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo|
|18||Ella Harris (NZl) Canyon-SRAM Racing|
|19||Lonneke Uneken (Ned) Team SD Worx||0:01:21|
|20||Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing|
|21||Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) Team SD Worx||0:01:28|
|22||Eugenia Bujak (Slo) Ale' BTC Ljubljana||0:02:16|
|23||Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team|
|24||Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team|
|25||Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing||0:02:21|
|26||Demi Vollering (Ned) Team SD Worx||0:03:09|
|27||Veronica Ewers (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank||0:03:59|
|28||Femke Markus (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg||0:06:45|
|29||Chloe Hosking (Aus) Trek-Segafredo|
|30||Kirstie van Haaften (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg||0:07:42|
|31||Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service|
|32||Megan Jastrab (USA) Team DSM|
|33||Margaux Vigie (Fra) Valcar-Travel & Service|
|34||Sandra Alonso Dominguez (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango|
|35||Marta Jaskulska (Pol) Liv Racing|
|36||Britt Knaven (Bel) NXTG Racing|
|37||Femke Gerritse (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg|
|38||Christine Majerus (Lux) Team SD Worx|
|39||Roxane Fournier (Fra) Team SD Worx|
|40||Aileen Schewikart (Ger) Bizkaia Durango||0:09:56|
|41||Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing|
|42||Maud Rijnbeek (Ned) NXTG Racing|
|43||Silvia Magri (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service|
|44||Sandra Weiss (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch|
|45||Ilse Pluimers (Ned) NXTG Racing|
|46||Bronwyn Macgregor (NZl) LVIV Cycling Team|
|47||Nicole Frain (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|48||Daniek Hengeveld (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling|
|49||Elizabeth Stannard (Aus) Valcar Travel & Service|
|50||Evy Kuijpers (Ned) Liv Racing|
|51||Marissa Baks (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling|
|52||Teuntje Beekhuis (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team|
|53||Teniel Campbell (TTo) Team BikeExchange||0:10:04|
|54||Maaike Boogaard (Ned) Ale' BTC Ljubljana|
|55||Janneke Ensing (Ned) Team BikeExchange|
|56||Nienke Wasmus (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling||0:10:15|
|DNF||Laura Tomasi (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana|
|DNF||Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Jessica Allen (Aus) Team BikeExchange|
|DNF||Eva Buurman (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|DNF||Nina Berton (Lux) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch|
|DNF||Stella Nightingale (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch|
|DNF||Melanie Klement (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Marina Garau Roca (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango|
|DNF||Alessia Patuelli (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana|
|DNF||Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Neve Bradbury (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing|
|DNF||Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) Team BikeExchange|
|DNF||Lieke Nooijen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg|
|DNF||Claire Faber (Lux) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch|
|DNF||Cathalijne Hoolwerf (Ned) NXTG Racing|
|DNF||Daniela Campos (Por) Bizkaia-Durango|
|DNF||Ariana Gilabert Vilaplana (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango|
|DNS||Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|DNS||Quinty Ton (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling|
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Issy Ronald has just graduated from the London School of Economics where she studied for an undergraduate and masters degree in History and International Relations. Since doing an internship at Procycling magazine, she has written reports for races like the Tour of Britain, Bretagne Classic and World Championships, as well as news items, recaps of the general classification at the Grand Tours and some features for Cyclingnews. Away from cycling, she enjoys reading, attempting to bake, going to the theatre and watching a probably unhealthy amount of live sport.
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