Elvin eighth in Drentse Acht

Sun 12 Mar 2017

The 143kilometre one-day race Drentse Acht concluded with a bunch sprint despite numerous breakaway attempts, with Gracie Elvin finishing strongly for ORICA-SCOTT in eighth place. 

The team raced aggressively trying to force breakaway groups and last minute attacks in the final, however, the day eventually concluded with a group sprint won by Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini).

Sport director Martin Barras praised the team’s efforts and determination, racing aggressively to finish with the top ten finish in the end.

“When we spoke in the team debrief yesterday we realised that we had a good race but messed up bit from a tactical aspect,” said Barras. “So today we wanted to nail the tactical aspects like entering the climb and cobble sections in a good position.”

“We also wanted to have numbers throughout the race, with at least two riders in each of the splits and we achieved all of that today.”

“When it came to the finale we were hoping to split it a bit more than it did. It was a matter of taking as many chances as we could in the finale, Annemiek Van Vleuten tried an attack with five kilometres to go but it didn’t quite pay off. 

“We had good weather conditions today and I think that played a part in neutralising the race a little. 

“In the end we had a very satisfying race and corrected the little mistakes we made yesterday so in many ways it was a very pleasing race.

“The riders spoke together out on the road and decided that Gracie would sprint. Today we had a looser approach as long as we maintained control and had good numbers, then for the rest of it everybody had the chance to race.”

How it happened:

After the long WorldTour race yesterday, ORICA-SCOTT women lined up ready for another day of Dutch racing.

With tired legs in the peloton and the presence of wind the race shattered to pieces within the opening 10kilometres.

Groups continued to break and rejoin with narrow roads and many twists and turns and it was after the second ascent of the VAM-Berg climb that further splits occurred.

ORICA-SCOTT successfully placed three riders in the front group which split over the top of the climb and continued to push the pace at the front in an attempt to establish a gap. However, after 80kilometres the race was once again all back together. 

With positioning a key part of the race due to tight corners, turns and narrow roads ORICA-SCOTT remained active at the front as the race entered the six kilometre finishing laps.

With five kilometres to go, Van Vleuten took her chances and attacked with Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) but the attentive bunch just as quickly brought the duo back and the race finished with an inevitable bunch sprint.

Drentse Acht results:

1. Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) 
2. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal Ladies)
3. Amalie Dideriksen (Boels-Dolmans)
8. Gracie Elvin (ORICA-SCOTT)

Photos courtesy of ©