October 23, 2021
Ronde van Drenthe 2021 WE – Assen – Hoogeveen : 159,1 km
The Ronde van Drenthe is one of the longest-standing one-day races on the women’s WorldTour calendar and has regularly opened up the Spring Classics season ever since its inception in 2007.
October 23, 2021
Ronde van Drenthe 2021 WE – Assen – Hoogeveen : 159,1 km
The Ronde van Drenthe is one of the longest-standing one-day races on the women’s WorldTour calendar and has regularly opened up the Spring Classics season ever since its inception in 2007. After more than two years of waiting, the Ronde van Drenthe will finally return this Saturday and draw a dramatic close to the Women’s WorldTour calendar.
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.
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