Lorena Wiebes wins Ronde van Drenthe

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.

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Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Team DSM 4:07:34
2Elena Cecchini (Ita) Team SD Worx
3Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
4Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM Racing
5Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team DSM
6Pfeiffer Georgi (GBr) Team DSM
7Franziska Koch (Ger) Team DSM 0:00:06
8Susanne Andersen (Nor) Team DSM 0:01:15
9Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
10Nina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
11Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing
12Amber van der Hulst (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
13Sarah Roy (Aus) Team BikeExchange
14Charlotte Kool (Ned) NXTG Racing
15Romy Kasper (Ger) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
16Mischa Bredewold (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
17Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
18Ella Harris (NZl) Canyon-SRAM Racing
19Lonneke Uneken (Ned) Team SD Worx 0:01:21
20Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
21Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) Team SD Worx 0:01:28
22Eugenia Bujak (Slo) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:02:16
23Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
24Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
25Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing 0:02:21
26Demi Vollering (Ned) Team SD Worx 0:03:09
27Veronica Ewers (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:03:59
28Femke Markus (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:06:45
29Chloe Hosking (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
30Kirstie van Haaften (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:07:42
31Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
32Megan Jastrab (USA) Team DSM
33Margaux Vigie (Fra) Valcar-Travel & Service
34Sandra Alonso Dominguez (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
35Marta Jaskulska (Pol) Liv Racing
36Britt Knaven (Bel) NXTG Racing
37Femke Gerritse (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
38Christine Majerus (Lux) Team SD Worx
39Roxane Fournier (Fra) Team SD Worx
40Aileen Schewikart (Ger) Bizkaia Durango 0:09:56
41Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing
42Maud Rijnbeek (Ned) NXTG Racing
43Silvia Magri (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
44Sandra Weiss (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
45Ilse Pluimers (Ned) NXTG Racing
46Bronwyn Macgregor (NZl) LVIV Cycling Team
47Nicole Frain (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
48Daniek Hengeveld (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling
49Elizabeth Stannard (Aus) Valcar Travel & Service
50Evy Kuijpers (Ned) Liv Racing
51Marissa Baks (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling
52Teuntje Beekhuis (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
53Teniel Campbell (TTo) Team BikeExchange 0:10:04
54Maaike Boogaard (Ned) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
55Janneke Ensing (Ned) Team BikeExchange
56Nienke Wasmus (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling 0:10:15
DNFLaura Tomasi (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
DNFEllen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Team BikeExchange
DNFEva Buurman (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFNina Berton (Lux) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
DNFStella Nightingale (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
DNFMelanie Klement (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling
DNFMarina Garau Roca (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
DNFAlessia Patuelli (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
DNFLauretta Hanson (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
DNFNeve Bradbury (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing
DNFMoniek Tenniglo (Ned) Team BikeExchange
DNFLieke Nooijen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFClaire Faber (Lux) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
DNFCathalijne Hoolwerf (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFDaniela Campos (Por) Bizkaia-Durango
DNFAriana Gilabert Vilaplana (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
DNSKristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNSQuinty Ton (Ned) GT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling

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