The second race of the UCIWWT brought the women’s peloton to the Netherlands for Ronde van Drenthe. The races early stages proved to be quiet, yet far from relaxed with teams fighting to hold good positioning over its challenging cobbled sections. After the sixth sector the races fuse was lit and the cobbled terrain split the peloton into pieces. Team Sunweb were well represented in the first group of 30 riders by Lucinda Brand, Ellen van Dijk, Coryn Rivera and Floortje Mackaij all driving the pace at the front. As the race hit the 30km to go mark, Ellen went on the attack but no one could follow. Her time trial strengths showed as she remained out front taking a 15 second lead. Other teams came out in numbers and furiously chased to bring her back. As she rejoined the pack another attack was launched and this time it was Lucinda representing the colours of the team out front. The group stayed away until the finish and it came down to a sprint between the four with Lucinda crossing the line in 3rd place. Ellen’s efforts did not go unnoticed and she she took an impressive 13th place.
“I was able to ride easy all day thanks to the great support of the team,” explained Lucinda Brand after the race finish. “Every time we entered a cobbled section they helped to get me into a good position. Ellen was really strong in her attack but unfortunately no one joined her. Other teams had to do a big effort to bring her back because if they didn’t then she would have for sure taken the win. When she was chased down it was my turn out the front in a break of 4. Despite being the motor of the group I tried to keep my legs and head as fresh as possible and go for the sprint, even though I was with fast riders. As I went into the final corner I was in the perfect spot but I made a mistake and went too early. I’m really happy with how we raced and that I was able to finish off all of our hard work with a place on the podium.”