Australian champion Sarah Roy sprinted to seventh place in the inaugural women’s Schedleprijs after a strong team performance from Team BikeExchange throughout the race.
Teniel Campbell was amongst the early breakaway group before being reeled back in, with Janneke Ensing, Arianna Fidanza and Moniek Tenniglo all showing themselves at the head of the peloton as the team constantly applied the pressure and strung out the field.
A solo attack saw one rider go clear by more than one minute inside the final 40km, but there was no preventing the day from ending in a bunch sprint, with Ensing leading the chase. Campbell then took over lead our duties with 3km to go before Fidanza and Tenniglo dropped Roy off in position inside the final kilometre.
Roy was the first to open up the sprint for the line with 250 metres to go, with the 35-year-old just running out of legs in the dash for the line as Lorena Wiebes took the victory.
“That was a very chaotic race but all the girls were positioned awesome all day. It was a really strong team performance, we can be really proud and we have also learned a lot from this one. The plan was to put some pressure on at some good crosswind moments but it didn’t work out so it was a stressful race all day.
In the last few kilometres we were separated, but each of us were still committed to the sprint. On the canal I was with Ari as other teams started to get organised. We had Teniel do a huge lead into the last 2km, and then Moniek was with me for the next bit, and lastly Ari came in front at the perfect time. Despite being behind Ari in the finish I felt I was taking a bit too much wind and I reacted to others by starting my sprint way too early. The result is extremely frustrating, and we all feel it, not just me, because we all believe in each other and can see the mistakes we made and the potential we have.
It’s really sad personally to end the classics without having achieved what I set out for but the trust and cohesion we have this year is unreal and for that I’m super grateful.”
2021 Scheldeprijs – Results:
1. Lorena Wiebes
2. Emma Norsgaard
3. Elisa Balsamo
7. Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) ST
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.