16 Mar Ronde van Drenthe Race Review (1.WWT)
The Dutch rider Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) won last Saturday the second event of the UCI WWT, the Ronde van Drenthe, covering 138.3km from Hoogeveen to Hoogeveen. On the final sprint she overtook her breakaway partners, Australian rider Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS), German rider Trixi Worrack (Canyon SRAM) and Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen (Rabobank Liv).
Another strong performance from Dutch team Boels Dolmans, despite the fact that one of her leaders, World champion Lizzie Armitstead, had to abandon the race due to sickness (nothing severe but the British, Commonwealth and World champion had been unwell since Tuesday according to her SD). Outstanding streak for the Dutch team who has finished on the podium at all of their 2016 season races with the only exception of Omloop van het Hageland Tielt-Winge.
It was Gracie Elvin who hastily launched the sprint trying to surprise her breakaway partners with an attack at about 400m to the finish line, just before the last corner on to the finishing straight. However the Dutch rider Chantal Blaak took her wheel and overtook her to claim victory. Australian rider finished in second place followed by German rider Trixi Worrack and Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen. The chasing group arrived 1’49 ” later with Italian rider Marta Bastianelli winning the group sprint.
“I did an attack towards the end of the second cobble section and by that stage the peloton was more or less single file. My gap didn’t stick but that long cobble section was quite hard and there were big splits in the peloton. Between the second and third cobble sections Rabobank Liv was really making the pace so that the second group didn’t join us again. At that point we were still a fair size group of 30 riders or so. It was really fast over the third cobble stone section, so nothing much happened. But as soon as we came off it van der Breggen attacked. I was in about sixth position, and I saw her attack and Blaak then Elvin went with it, so I knew I needed to be there.” state Worrack to her team.
“No one of our teams had a really good sprinter behind us and that’s why it worked well. No one could sit on and say ‘Ah I’m waiting for my sprinter.’ I thought my best chance was in a sprint and I never saw a good opportunity to attack anyway. I know Blaak is fast but I was confident I could at least be on the podium in a sprint.” With four major teams represented Worrack explained the break was destined to work.
Prior to the race Wiggle High5 was pointed out as the most powerful team, not only due to the great result and performance displayed at the previous edition of the race but also as they came to the race with an outstanding roster. However, they were caught behind when the action went on fire. The action was dominated by a four rider group that rolled off the front of a reduced peloton with around 60 kilometres to go.
For several kilometres it was a close fight between the four breakaway riders and four Wiggle High5 cyclists, who were riding on the front of reduced group in order to get the former ones back. But their efforts neither work out nor received any help from other teams, thus they decided the chase was over.
Despite not providing us with a great performance in this occasion, Wiggle High5 surprised us by sharing with all of us a unique, vivid example of how to deal with failure, with a disaster (in words of their SD) at the highest sports level.
“The big mistake was not have one over there and after in four if all our four work they don’t make them 4 but you need to have that communication and I don’t know what happened in front I have no idea”
“We are all good, but we are still not a team. So before the cobbles you see a lot of teams they come with together, really strong but we were too much alone I think we still missed the feeling that riding like a team”
Next UCI WWT race will be next Sunday at Women’s WorldTour Trofeo Alfredo Binda. The UCI WWT rankings remains as follows:
UCI Women’s WorldTour Individual Ranking
|1||Anna van der Breggen||Rabobank Liv||130|
|2||Chantal Blaak||Boels Dolmans||120|
|3||Elizabeth Armitstead||Boels Dolmans||120|
|5||Katarzyna Niewiadoma||Rabobank Liv||100|
|6||Trixi Worrack||Canyon SRAM||85|
|7||Emma Johansson||Wiggle High5||85|
|8||Elisa Longo Borghini||Wiggle High5||70|
|9||Annemiek van Vleuten||Orica-AIS||70|
|10||Lauren Kitchen||Hitec Products||65|
|11||Marta Bastianelli||Alé Cipollini||60|
|13||Megan Guarnier||Boels Dolmans||50|
|14||Leah Kirchmann||Liv Plantur||50|
|15||Floortje Mackaij||Liv Plantur||40|
UCI Women’s WorldTour Youth Ranking
|1||Floortje Mackaij||Liv Plantur||6|
|2||Katarzyna Niewiadoma||Rabobank Liv||6|
|3||Lotte Kopecky||Lotto Soudal Ladies||4|
Women’s WorldTour Team Ranking
Highlights Ronde van Drenthe UCI