11 Mar Ronde van Drenthe Preview (1.WWT)
A week after the inaugural race of the UCI WWT at the historic city of Siena, it is now turn for Hoogeveen, Drenthe. The well-established race of Ronde van Drenthe (previously part of the defunct UCI Women’s World Cup) will witness the second piece of the UCI Women’s World Tour. On Saturday, March 12th Drenthe will be again the center of women’s cycling with a entertaining race course ideal to promote and extend the beauty of this sport. In this case live TV coverage will be provided during the final hour and a half of the race.
The first UCI WWT race left us with a bittersweet taste, regarding various issues. A deserved place for women cycling. This is UCI’s motto. However, due to several issues (that need to be pointed out and fixed) that motto was very far from reality. Regarding the first UCI Women’s World Tour race ever we would like to share with you the following issues among others we perceived.
Lets start mentioning some weaknesses of the first UCI WWT ever. First of all, the first UCI WWT event broke its own regulations regarding media and communication networking. It is outrageous that there was neither a specific hashtag nor specific Twitter account, and that the overall Strade Bianche tweeting frequency was so poor. Furthermore information release has been inefficient and inaccurate, some press releases including participants startlist were inaccurate and not up to date prior to the start of the race. Despite the fact that I was already stated that no live coverage was going to be undertaking for this first event, it is incredibly unreasonable that decision. The first event of the UCI WWT was an outstanding opportunity of showing the change and taking lead the UCI is supposed to bring to Women’s Cycling. It is even worst that despite having been announced that highlights and exclusive content were going to be released at some official channels within a few hours of the event only RAI and SBS broadcaster ones have been made available.
But lets bring some optimism into it. The excitement around the first UCI WWT has been remarkable. Teams, sponsors, staff and riders have made an amazing effort trying to illustrate what was going on during the race. They have been sharing their thoughts and experiences prior to the race and they have as well related their point of view with their fantastic press race reviews releases. Despite the fact that I do not go along with the “no-crossing” rule (do not get me wrong, I agree that riders must not cross at any time but “a time difference” should be subtracted later on) it is great when rules are applied, because that is what they are for.
To sum up, media attention has been great and that is something we really need to exploit. Such opportunity will not last forever and we need to turn it into our favour shortly.
UCI WWT Race Schedule:
- Strade Bianche, ITA – 05/03/16
- Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe, NED – 12/03/16
- Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio, ITA – 20/03/2016
- Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields, BEL – 27/03/16
- Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres, BEL – 03/04/16
- La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, BEL – 20/04/15
- Tour of Chongming Island, CHN – from 06/05/16 to 08/05/16
- Amgen Tour of California, USA – from 19/05/16 to 22/05/16
- Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, USA – 05/06/16
- Aviva Womens Tour, GBR – from 15/06/16 to 19/06/16
- Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, ITA – from 01/07/16 to 10/07/16
- La Course by Le Tour de France, FRA – 24/07/16
- Prudential Ride London, GBR – 30/07/15
- Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour, SWE – 19/08/16
- Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour TTT, SWE – 21/08/16
- GP de Plouay-Bretagne, FRA – 27/08/16
- LA MADRID CHALLENGE By La Vuelta, ESP – 11/09/16
Saturday, March 12th, Local Time: 11:30 a.m. to 15:15 p.m. approx.
A total of 22 teams and 131 riders will participate in this edition of Ronde van Drenthe. Dorleta Eskamendi (Lares Waowdeals) and Sheyla Gutiérrez (Cylance) will be our Spanish representatives at the second UCI WWT race.
Route 138.3km: Hoogeveen – Hoogeveen
After about 4km of neutralisation, the 138.3 kilometre 2016 Ronde van Drenthe course will start. It starts and finishes in Hoogeveen, and is not easy at all, as it features with five cobble sections as well as taking on the man-made VAM Berg three times. The VAM-Berg hill, which is covered with clean soil and grass, is a former landfill with a height of 60 meters (on its highest point) above sea level being the highest point of North Brabant. The VAM-Berg hill that the riders will ascent three times (with 128.1km, 35.7km and 28.6km to go respectively) is about 40 meters high, a very steep climb of only 400 meters at an average 9.7% gradient and covering 300 meters with a two-digit gradient. The hill is named after Vuil Afvoer Maatschappij a former waste disposal management company headquartered in Wijster, Drenthe. Its original purpose was to bring and there composting garbage from the Randstad (the megalopolis formed by the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrechtt) to areas with poor soil.
Favourites & Outsiders
Lizzie Armitstead, Jolien D’hoore, Leah Kirchmann
Chantal Blaak, Tiffany Cromwell, Annemiek van Vleuten, Emma Johansson
Chloe Hosking, Shelley Olds, Elena Cecchini, Lucinda Brand, Lotta Lepistö
Our favourite: Jolien D’hoore
Our outsider: Elena Cecchini
Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-Honda) won the 2015 Boels UCI Women Road World Cup at Ronde van Drenthe, the day she turned 25 years old, after a fantastic lead-out manoeuvre from her teammates. Belgium rider beat on the finish line of Hoogeveen Dutch riders Amy Pieters (Liv-Plantuur) and Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans). Italian Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda) started the leading out work with one and half kilometres to go, shortly after the final kilometre mark, at a roundabout a crash occurred at the leading group leaving some riders without any chances of victory. The amazing work by Elisa was followed by a final lead-out by Australian Chloe Hosking (Wiggle-Honda) leaving Jolien with a few wheels gap prior to her sprint. You can see Jolien D’hoore race on Strava.
Highlights of 2015 Ronde van Drenthe (UCI RWC)
In Dutch starting at around 13:30 UTC+1
- Audio commentary by Bridie O’Donnell and Sarah Connolly via Prowomenscycling
A few Twitter accounts and hashtags to follow the race among others: