Elvin seventh from another winning move at Drentse Acht

Sun 13 Mar 2016

Former Australian champion Gracie Elvin continued her impressive display of form at Drentse Acht van Westerveld today, making the winning move to eventually finish in seventh position.

The performance backed up that of yesterday, which saw the 27-year-old ride herself into second place at Ronde van Drenthe and stand as the first Australian on a UCI Women’s WorldTour podium.

Sport director Gene Bates praised yet another solid performance by Elvin. 

“It all just seems to have clicked for Gracie,” Bates said. “She is in great physical shape but she knows where to place herself at the right times in races.”

“She is making the front splits and the real front splits when it matters and full credit to her, she has put a lot of work into it and it is really paying off.”

Today’s winning move was that of 13 riders. With just one representative amongst the group, Bates said it was a small downside to an otherwise strong result.

“We made a couple of errors on the VAMberg, were clearly caught out of position and that cost us having more than Gracie in that front group,” Bates explained. “Realistically we could had had two or three present there given the way the girls have been riding and performing.”

“They’ll be a little disappointed but they’ll quickly look forward to the bigger picture and the next few races coming up.”

How it happened:

Boosted by yesterday’s second place at Ronde van Drenthe by Elvin, ORICA-AIS rolled out for Drentse Acht van Westerveld full of confidence.

The 142.3km race followed many of the same roads as the day prior including two ascents of the VAMberg mid-race and two sectors of pave, the latter with just 20km left of racing.

Save two brief solo attempts, racing stayed together for the first 50km as the peloton made its way towards the two climbs.

The first ascent of the famous VAMberg caused a number of splits in the bunch but it all-but recovered before the second attempt shortly after.

With a little more fatigue in the legs, the gaps from the second climb proved more crucial than the first as 13 riders, including Elvin, escaped at the head of racing.

With each of the bigger outfits represented there seemed to be few willing to chase. Despite a flat parcours for the remainder of the journey, and no sign of the wind the region is famous for, it looked like the day’s winner would come from the front group.

With 35km to go, the 13 held an advantage of one-minute 30seconds over the first chase group of around 35 riders.

Despite a desperate effort, decreasing the gap to just over a minute, the chase ran out of steam and the gap blew back out as the leader’s rode onto the final circuits.

As the group kept a close eye on anyone trying to sneak off the front they wound up for the final sprint. Leah Kirchmann took the victory for Liv-Plantur, Elvin sprinting to seventh place.

Drentse Acht van Westerveld Results

1. Leah Kirchmann (Liv-Plantur) 3:32:45
2. Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans) ST
3. Anouska Koster (Rabobank-Liv) ST
7. Gracie Elvin (ORICA-AIS) ST