Every year the Ronde van Drenthe starts the season early with a big marker in the sand – this is how we can cover women’s road cycling! And in 2016 it excelled itself with so much media. I’ve got lots of videos (including home-made English commentary) from Round 2 of the Women’s World Tour, the Ronde van Drenthe, and some clips of Sunday’s Drentse Acht van Westerveld, including Marianne Vos on her first race back in the peloton.
It’s always a brilliant race – three times over a man-made climb, and four stretches of brutal, unique cobbles. It’s been won in every way from solo attacks, small groups and bunch sprints, so it’s always unpredictable and beautiful to watch. Let’s start with the entire re-run from RTV Oost (please do watch it there, because it’s so awesome that they did that, but if that goes, there’s a much lower-res back up) and the final few kilometres:
There are 2.5 mins highlights with no commentary on the UCI YouTube Channel – so I’ve made some home-made comms for it. It’s a quick, experimental thing, so it’s not ‘pro’ at all – I just wanted to see if it was possible. Turn on the comms, then when I tell you to in it, hit play on the video below (I definitely should have commentated it like NOS Sport did – it’s in Dutch here)
1. Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels-Dolmans, 3:36:13
2. Gracie Elvin (Aus) ORICA-AIS, s.t.
3. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon-SRAM, s.t.
4. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Rabo-Liv, s.t.
5. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé Cipollini, + 01:49
6. Shelley Olds (USA) Cylance, s.t.
7. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Liv-Plantur, s.t.
8. Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products, s.t.
9. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) ORICA-AIS, s.t.
10. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur, s.t.
Boels-Dolmans Classics run has been extraordinary! This result without both Ellen van Dijk, out with broken ribs, and Lizzie Armitstead, who pulled out of the race with a migraine.
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“I’ve been racing #RondevDrenthe since 2008, and I’m so happy that I’m finally able to win here. I didn’t expect that we could ride away so early in the race. Sixty kilometres from the finish, I led the peloton onto the last cobblestones, and just after that section, we were away with the four of us. The cooperation was good, and my choice was to gamble for the sprint.” – @chantalblaak
Read the race reports from Boels-Dolmans and their photo gallery, ORICA-AIS (with photos), Rabo-Liv, Alé-Cipollini, Cylance photo gallery, Liv-Plantur and Cervélo-Bigla (with photos). More reports from the Aviva Women’s Tour, and race report with rider quotes & photos on Ella Cycling Tips.
When the key move went on the last section of cobbles, lots of big teams missed it, but with four riders in the chase group, Wiggle High5 were the most visible, especially after they tried and tried to chase the leaders. There was a lot of comment about this, naturally, on social media – and it makes this video from the team really extraordinary, showing them talking about it all afterwards
The poor Tibco team started the weekend with four bikes being stolen from their accommodation. Here’s a mini video about the theft and the impact (starts in Dutch, lots of English)
3:43 highlights from NOS Sport, following Marianne Vos on her first race back in the peloton after her time out with sickness and injury – includes the final sprint. And official highlights:
1. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur, 3:32:45
2. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans, s.t.
3. Anouska Koster (Ned) Rabo-Liv, s.t.
4. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM, s.t.
5. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Alé-Cipollini, s.t.
6. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle-High5, s.t.
7. Gracie Elvin (Aus) ORICA-AIS, s.t.
8. Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle High5, + 00:02
9. Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare, s.t.
10. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv, s.t.
Here’s a pre-race preview of Kirchmann, on VeloNews.
Photo galleries from both races from Rabo-Liv,
Little video with clips from all the Drenthe races:
If you see any more media, please do let me know, either here or on twitter. I’m funded by my wonderful Patreon supporters, who give me from £1.50/$2 a month to do all these things – if you’d like to join them, there’s more information here.