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Pieters sprints to victory at Ronde van Drenthe

Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans) won the Ronde van Drenthe on Sunday in the Netherlands. The race was the second stop on the Women’s WorldTour after Strade Bianche. Boels-Dolmans is undefeated in the series to begin 2018 after Anna van der Breggen won Strade Bianche last weekend.

“I won today, but I don’t think that I fully realize it yet,” said Pieters, who won silver in the Madison at the UCI World Track Championships last weekend. “I really wanted to win a big race at one point. I never managed to do so in recent years. I did have good races, but the victory wasn’t always there. I am very happy with the win today.”

“The final kilometers were chaotic. There was a crash in the last kilometer, just behind me. It was something I knew was going to happen because it was very hectic and sprinters don’t use their brakes in the final. It was unavoidable. I had to open my sprint early after that. I had to go from the last corner. I saw Alexis Ryan coming, but could accelerate a second time and kept on going.”

Although the temperatures were slightly higher than last weekend’s Strade Bianche, the riders faced terrible weather with the reduced peloton hardly recognizable at the finish. The 157-kilometer route included four ascents of the infamous VAM-berg and seven cobbled sections. Though a few of the cobbled sections were eventually removed for safety reasons.

A reduced bunch of around 40 riders came to the line with Pieters opening her sprint from a long way out. Alexis Ryan (Canyon-SRAM) came on strong and challenged Pieters, but the finish line proved to be just a bit too far. Chloe Hosing (Ale-Cipollini) finished third. Van der Breggen finished amongst the lead group and retained her spot atop the Women’s WorldTour rankings.

Top 10

  • 1. Amy Pieters, (NED) BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, in 4:06:44
  • 2. Alexis Ryan, (USA) CANYON // SRAM RACING, at 00:00
  • 3. Chloe Hosking, (AUS) ALE CIPOLLINI, at 00:01
  • 4. Marta Bastianelli, (ITA) ALE CIPOLLINI, at 00:01
  • 5. Marianne Vos, (NED) WAOWDEALS PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 00:01
  • 6. Coryn Rivera, (USA) TEAM SUNWEB, at 00:01
  • 7. Arlenis Sierra, (CUB) ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM, at 00:01
  • 8. Roxane Fournier, (FRA) FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE, at 00:01
  • 9. Floortje Mackaij, (NED) TEAM SUNWEB, at 00:01
  • 10. Ellen Van Dijk, (NED) TEAM SUNWEB, at 00:01

For the second weekend in-a-row, the Women’s WorldTour faced horrendous conditions with rain and strong winds. The flat Drenthe landscape would provide plenty of crosswinds, making the race that much harder. The race would see multiple crashes and see 2016 Ronde van Drenthe champion and UCI World Road Champion Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) hit the deck. Blaak would never regain contact with the leaders. The race did not shine brightly on previous winners on Sunday, as Blaak’s teammate and defending champion Amalie Dideriksen suffered a puncture late in the race and lost contact with the front group.

Another favorite to begin the day, Lucinda Brand (Sunweb), also had a rough day. Brand had a mechanical in the opening hour of the race and then crashed twice. She abandoned the race after her second crash, but her team reported that she had no serious injuries.

During the race, organizers deemed the last two cobble sectors unsafe due to the heavy rain. This changed how the finale of the race would play out with the cobbled sectors ending farther from the finish than planned. This saw a 40-rider strong group coming to the line together. Boels-Dolmans and Team Sunweb both had multiple riders in the bunch and fought for control at the front of the peloton.

A crash inside the last kilometer disrupted the leadout and Pieters opted to begin her sprint to the line out of the final corner, which came about 300 meters from the line. Ryan came alongside Pieters and looked to have the strength to pass, but Pieters found the strength to hold Ryan off.

“At this moment I will say I’m the second winner and not first loser,” Ryan, who won the Drentse Acht van Westerveld on Friday, said. “Friday was my first international UCI win and two days later to podium in a WorldTour race. That’s huge, I’m so happy. I was tearing up a little bit when I crossed the line. This has really been a breakthrough season already for me so I cannot be happier.

“It was a really long sprint. We pretty much started from the corner. It was a tailwind, so we couldn’t wait too long. Amy went probably with 300 meters or 350 meters to go and I launched not long after her. It was a drag race but I just couldn’t get her in the end, I didn’t have any more gears. I’m just so happy and thankful to my teammates.”

Hosking rounded out the podium. Team Sunweb stacked the top 10 with three riders, but sixth place was the best that they could do and that went to Coryn Rivera.

The Women’s WorldTour continues on Sunday, March 18 with the Trofeo Alfredo Binda.

Full results

  • 1. Amy Pieters, (NED) BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM, in 4:06:44
  • 2. Alexis Ryan, (USA) CANYON // SRAM RACING, at 00:00
  • 3. Chloe Hosking, (AUS) ALE CIPOLLINI, at 00:01
  • 4. Marta Bastianelli, (ITA) ALE CIPOLLINI, at 00:01
  • 5. Marianne Vos, (NED) WAOWDEALS PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 00:01
  • 6. Coryn Rivera, (USA) TEAM SUNWEB, at 00:01
  • 7. Arlenis Sierra, (CUB) ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM, at 00:01
  • 8. Roxane Fournier, (FRA) FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE, at 00:01
  • 9. Floortje Mackaij, (NED) TEAM SUNWEB, at 00:01
  • 10. Ellen Van Dijk, (NED) TEAM SUNWEB, at 00:01
  • 11. Jolien D’hoore, (BEL) MITCHELTON SCOTT, at 00:01
  • 12. Sofia Bertizzolo, (ITA) ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM, at 00:01
  • 13. Tiffany Cromwell, (AUS) CANYON // SRAM RACING, at 00:01
  • 14. Lisa Brennauer, (GER) WIGGLE HIGH5, at 00:01
  • 15. Simona Frapporti, (ITA) HITEC PRODUCTS – BIRK SPORT, at 00:01
  • 16. Valerie Demey, (BEL) LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at 00:01
  • 17. Janneke Ensing, (NED) ALE CIPOLLINI, at 00:01
  • 18. Malgorzata Jasinska, (POL) MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN, at 00:01
  • 19. Demi De Jong, (NED) LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at 00:01
  • 20. Eileen Roe, (GBR) WNT ROTOR PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 00:09
  • 21. Anna Van Der Breggen, (NED) BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM, at 00:09
  • 22. Emilia Fahlin, (SWE) WIGGLE HIGH5, at 00:09
  • 23. Jeanne Korevaar, (NED) WAOWDEALS PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 00:09
  • 24. Christine Majerus, (LUX) BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM, at 00:09
  • 25. Elisa Balsamo, (ITA) VALCAR PBM, at 00:09
  • 26. Lauren Kitchen, (AUS) FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE, at 00:09
  • 27. Mieke KrÖger, (GER) TEAM VIRTU CYCLING, at 00:09
  • 28. Danielle Rowe, (GBR) WAOWDEALS PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 00:09
  • 29. Ganna Solovei, (UKR) PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG, at 00:13
  • 30. Julie Leth, (DEN) WIGGLE HIGH5, at 00:13
  • 31. Ann-Sophie Duyck, (BEL) CERVELO – BIGLA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 00:15
  • 32. Soraya Paladin, (ITA) ALE CIPOLLINI, at 00:15
  • 33. Riejanne Markus, (NED) WAOWDEALS PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 00:15
  • 34. Lisa Klein, (GER) CANYON // SRAM RACING, at 00:15
  • 35. Romy Kasper, (GER) ALE CIPOLLINI, at 00:15
  • 36. Julia Soek, (NED) TEAM SUNWEB, at 00:18
  • 37. Roxane Knetemann, (NED) ALE CIPOLLINI, at 00:22
  • 38. Sarah Roy, (AUS) MITCHELTON SCOTT, at 00:25
  • 39. Jessica Allen, (AUS) MITCHELTON SCOTT, at 00:25
  • 40. Moniek Tenniglo, (NED) FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE, at 01:57
  • 41. Clara Koppenburg, (GER) CERVELO – BIGLA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 02:06
  • 42. Emma Cecilie Norsgaard JØrgensen, (DEN) CERVELO – BIGLA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 02:06
  • 43. Gracie Elvin, (AUS) MITCHELTON SCOTT, at 02:28
  • 44. Kirsten Wild, (NED) WIGGLE HIGH5, at 02:28
  • 45. Georgia Williams, (NZL) MITCHELTON SCOTT, at 02:28
  • 46. Maaike Boogaard, (NED) BTC CITY LJUBLJANA, at 03:16
  • 47. Anouska Koster, (NED) WAOWDEALS PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 03:18
  • 48. Marjolein Van ‘t Geloof, (NED) LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at 03:18
  • 49. Sara Mustonen Lichan, (SWE) EXPERZA – FOOTLOGIX, at 03:18
  • 50. Ilona Hoeksma, (NED) PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG, at 03:18
  • 51. Margarita Victo Garcia CaÑellas, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN, at 03:18
  • 52. Katarzyna Pawlowska, (POL) TEAM VIRTU CYCLING, at 03:18
  • 53. Emilie Moberg, (NOR) TEAM VIRTU CYCLING, at 03:18
  • 54. Rozanne Slik, (NED) FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE, at 03:23
  • 55. Marit Raaijmakers, (NED) PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG, at 03:23
  • 56. Susanne Andersen, (NOR) HITEC PRODUCTS – BIRK SPORT, at 03:23
  • 57. Alba Teruel Ribes, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN, at 03:23
  • 58. Aude Biannic, (FRA) MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN, at 03:30
  • 59. Christina Malling Siggaard, (DEN) TEAM VIRTU CYCLING, at 03:32
  • 60. Pernille Mathiesen, (DEN) TEAM SUNWEB, at 03:32
  • 61. Chantal Blaak, (NED) BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM, at 03:40
  • 62. Alison Jackson, (CAN) TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK, at 03:40
  • 63. Nicole Steigenga, (NED) NETHERLANDS, at 03:40
  • 64. Danique Braam, (NED) NETHERLANDS, at 03:40
  • 65. Danielle Christmas, (GBR) BIZKAIA DURANGO – EUSKADI MURIAS, at 03:40
  • 66. Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez, (ESP) MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN, at 03:43
  • 67. Nina Kessler, (NED) HITEC PRODUCTS – BIRK SPORT, at 03:43
  • 68. Esther Van Veen, (NED) PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG, at 03:43
  • 69. Marta Cavalli, (ITA) VALCAR PBM, at 03:43
  • 70. Monique Van De Ree, (NED) WAOWDEALS PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 03:43
  • 71. Elise Maes, (LUX) WNT ROTOR PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 03:43
  • 72. Chantal Hoffmann, (LUX) LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at 03:43
  • 73. Charlotte Bravard, (FRA) FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE, at 03:43
  • 74. Chiara Consonni, (ITA) VALCAR PBM, at 03:43
  • 75. Chanella Stougje, (NED) PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG, at 03:43
  • 76. Amalie Dideriksen, (DEN) BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM, at 03:43
  • 77. Thea Thorsen, (NOR) HITEC PRODUCTS – BIRK SPORT, at 03:43
  • 78. Jelena EriĆ, (SRB) CYLANCE PRO CYCLING, at 03:45
  • 79. Giorgia Bronzini, (ITA) CYLANCE PRO CYCLING, at 03:45
  • 80. Alice Barnes, (GBR) CANYON // SRAM RACING, at 03:49
  • 81. Trixi Worrack, (GER) CANYON // SRAM RACING, at 03:49
  • 82. Christa Riffel, (GER) CANYON // SRAM RACING, at 03:49
  • 83. Tatiana Guderzo, (ITA) HITEC PRODUCTS – BIRK SPORT, at 03:49

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