Breakaway Wins Holland Ladies Tour Stage FourFri 6 Sep 2013
A two rider breakaway contested the win on stage four of the Boels Rental Holland Ladies Tour. Elke Gebhardt (Argos-Shimano) distanced Vera Koedooder (Sengers Ladies) before the line to claim victory. The duo escaped from the bunch in the opening kilometres. Neither posed a threat on the overall classification, and the main protagonists in the bunch seemed content to allow them to maintain a small gap to the line.
ORICA-AIS had hoped to split the field in an attempt to gain time and places on the general classification. No other team seemed to share in this ambition. The field stayed together, and the top ten overall remained virtually unchanged with Trixi Worrack (Specialized-lululemon) in the leader’s jersey and Specialized-lululemon occupying first through fifth place. ORICA-AIS maintains a hold on places sixth through tenth overall.
“Basically, our main objective today was to split up the race,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “It became evident at the start that there was going to be little or no wind today, so the split wasn’t going to happen that way. If the field was going to split, it would need to come from our attempts to force a break down the road.”
“We realised quickly that we were kidding ourselves with that option as well,” McPartland added. “Every time the girls tried to do something, another team would react. It wasn’t always the same team, but the mix of different teams with different interests was not in our favour today.”
Gebhardt and Koedooder cooperated to extend their lead to just under the minute mark in the first hour of racing. Their gap would fluctuate between 25” and 1’15 throughout the course of the stage. Emilia Fahlin (Hitec Products UCK), Chantal Blaak (Team TIBCO) and Susanna Zorzi (Italy) each undertook a solo bridge attempt. Neither of the three made it across to the leaders.
“We attempted to sort ourselves out for the field sprint for third, but the girls weren’t very organised today,” admitted McPartland. “Things were a bit chaotic at the finish, and in the end, we weren’t able to do anything in the sprint.”
Emilie Molberg (Hitec Products UCK) led the bunch across to round out the stage podium. Gracie Elvin was the team’s top finisher on the stage in 12th place. The entire team finished on bunch time, 21” behind Gebhardt.
“Mel [Hoskins] is still in the best young rider jersey,” noted McPartland. “The general classification will have hardly changed at all. We still have five riders in the top ten.”