General Classification Shake-up on Energiewacht Tour Double DayFri 11 Apr 2014
Gracie Elvin finished on bunch time in the morning stage of the Energiewacht Tour double day. The best-placed rider for ORICA-AIS on the general classification maintained her overall position following the road stage that saw Vera Koedooder (Bigla) solo to victory with a 3’02 advantage over the peloton. The margin proved large enough to allow Koedooder to move into the overall lead, assuming the yellow race leader’s jersey from Kirsten Wild (Giant Shimano).
Koedooder was part of a two rider breakaway that dominated the second half of the stage. Joined up the road by Chloe McConville, Koedooder broke away solo on the last of three circuit laps. McConville crossed the line in second, alone, while Trixi Worrack (Specialized-lululemon), led home the bunch.
“In the second lap, Chloe and Vera went away,” explained Loes Gunnewijk. “They got a gap pretty fast. The second time we crossed the finish line, to start the third circuit lap, there was a bonification sprint. Giant started to chase, and they took one second in the sprint. After the sprint they stopped chasing.”
“It surprised everybody,” Gunnewijk continued. “It was their job to chase because they had the yellow jersey. When they stopped working, no one else wanted to ride. I don’t know if they were gambling or it was a miscommunication.”
“We had originally wanted to go on the attack in the third lap,” Gunnwijk added. “We missed the break with Chloe and Vera, but we thought it would come back together. It wasn’t up to us close the gap. We sat in and waited to see what they would do, and when they didn’t do anything, we decided to save our energy for the team time trial.”
ORICA-AIS narrowly missed the stage podium in the team time trial. The afternoon stage of the EnergieWacht Tour double day was won by reigning Team Time Trial World Champions Specialized-lululemon. The American-based squad covered the 15.1 kilometre course in 19’22, averaging 46.8 kilometre per hour. Boels-Dolmans finished 7” behind while Rabobank-Liv rounded out the podium at 14”.
The Australian outfit stopped the clock at 19’38, 16” slower than Specialized-lululemon. Finishing with five riders, the team averaged 46.1 kilometres/hour.
Following the team discipline, a general classification reshuffle took place. Koedooder maintains her overall lead with a 31” advantage over Worrack, who jumps up to second from fifth following the morning stage. Specialized-lululemon now has three in top four with Lisa Brennauer in third and Tiffany Cromwell in fourth, both at 33”, while Gracie Elvin retains her spot in the top ten overall, slotting into ninth place at 49”.
“We had some bad luck today,” said Gunnewijk. “After one kilometre, [Sport Director] Gene [Bates] got a puncture in the car. The moto came riding next to us to tell us. It was up to us to do everything ourselves. We had no information from the car.”
“The effort was a good one to start,” Gunnewijk noted. “In some parts we were better and in some parts we need work. We had trouble keeping a steady speed. We have to work on that. We need to get a little bit smoother, too.”
“Unfortunately without a car behind, we don’t have a video of the time trial,” she added. “We cannot see it back and learn from it that way. We can only talk about it from what we think and felt.”
“Gracie is our protected rider,” Gunnewijk concluded. “She can go for the general classification. For the rest of us, it’s up to us to help her. We’ll also try to get into the right break and fight for the stage win. Tomorrow is a long stage. It’s a new day with new chances.”