Loes Gunnewijk previews Dutch treble, including Ronde van Drenthe World CupMon 9 Mar 2015
From Australia to Qatar, via Belgium and Italy, ORICA-AIS bags are now packed for the early-season racing in Holland, including the first world cup of the season, Ronde van Drenthe on Saturday.
The trio of races, including Drentse 8 (Thursday) and the Novilon Eurocup (Sunday) which top and tail the ‘main event’, are familiar territory for our Dutch road captain Loes Gunnewijk who helps us preview the end of week racing...
Racing in Holland is a little bit similar to Nieuwsblad in Belgium.
It’s going to be narrow; there is a lot of road furniture, a big bunch and its nervous racing. We have cobble sections, so positioning is going to be really important and hopefully there will be some wind to make racing a little bit harder.
It’s a bit different than a race like Strade Bianche with the climbs and the gravel sections; you know where the moves are going to happen in a race with those elements.
Here, of course on the cobble sections are really important but on the other hand moves can happen everywhere throughout the race so you have to concentrate from start to finish line.
On the Saturday and the Sunday we have the VAMberg. It’s not a massive mountain but it’s really narrow, kind of like a bicycle path, and from one side it is really steep. If you are in the first ten you are OK but after that there is likely to be some crashes, people in the big chain ring so it’s always fighting for your positioning.
The main goal is of course Saturday, that’s the world cup and also the first world cup for the season, so is the most important one.
I think we have a really good team, particularly for the world cup.
Emma Johansson and I have both already won once this world cup and the whole team is good on the cobblestones, in positioning and finding each other. You really need that in this kind of racing, so I think we really can do a good job over there.
But first up we have Drentse 8. Thursday, it is more about getting a good feeling, having a look how the legs are and spending Friday as a recovery day before we go full gas on the Saturday.
Sunday is also a great race. They have changed the course a little bit but it still has the cobble section and the VAMberg and I love that kind of racing.
For me, I think I have done these races every year. I love it.
It’s special to ride here. My parents and family are coming to the races on the weekend so that is always nice and you know a lot of people over there, so it is special for sure.
Time to go full gas,
ORICA-AIS at Drentse 8 (12 March):
ORICA-AIS at Ronde van Drenthe (14 March):
ORICA-AIS at Novilon Eurocup (15 March):