Team Sunweb secured three top 10 placings at Ronde van Drenthe today, as Coryn Rivera took 6th, Floortje Mackaij 9th and Ellen van Dijk 10th.
The classics season continued at Ronde van Drenthe today, with Team Sunweb’s women’s program lining up for the 157.2 kilometre test. The route included four ascents of the infamous VAM-berg and seven cobbled sections, with some cobbled sections eventually removed from the route for safety reasons.
Multiple riders tried their luck on the attack throughout the day, but no rider could take a lead significant enough to ride ahead of the bunch for a substantial period. As splits formed in the final 30 kilometres, Team Sunweb remained in a good position with Floortje in the front group and both Ellen and Coryn close behind in the second group. The race eventually came back together heading into the final where Team Sunweb set a hard pace at the front of the bunch with Julia, Floortje and Ellen covering attacks. With around 40 riders remaining in the peloton to duke out the victory, Team Sunweb lined up preparing for the sprint. The team finished the day with three top 10 placings, as Coryn took 6th with Floortje and Ellen finishing 9th and 10th respectively. Julia Soek also secured the win in the cobbled sprint classification.
Plagued with bad luck, Lucinda Brand suffered a mechanical in the first 40 kilometres and was brought back to the bunch by Pernille Mathiesen. Two crashes later in the race saw her eventually abandon – she has no serious injuries.
“Today was another rainy race,” explained Coryn after the race. “Strade was just a warm up for today’s long race with multiple Dutch cobble and gravel sections. Lucinda had quite some bad luck today with a flat on one of the early cobbles, then also a couple of crashes. She fought back and still gave everything she could. Pernille did a great job pulled Lucinda back to the group and helping us with positioning. The rest of us stayed sharp and kept positioning a priority with a lot of narrow roads and hectic key moments. Going up the VAM-berg four times didn’t prove to be too much of a challenge, but it did put a dent in some legs. In the new loop, the last gravel and cobble section made a selection that Floortje, Ellen, and I were in. Floortje and Ellen tried to play their cards in a break but nothing would stick. In the end, I had Julia, Ellen, and Floortje in the lead out for the sprint finish. A crash going in the final kilometre disconnected Ellen, but Floortje still did a super lead-out that I was able to finish off with 6th place. I’m not happy with the result, but it’s still a decent one. We’ll use this as fuel for the upcoming races.”
Team Sunweb coach Koen de Haan said: “We had some bad luck with Lucinda suffering a mechanical early on in the race and two crashes which ultimately caused her to abandon. There was a lot of activity at the front throughout the race and towards the end the bunch split. We had riders in all groups but the race came back together at the local laps in Hoogeveen. In the bunch sprint Coryn finished 6th, with Floortje and Ellen rounding out the top 10.”