Outside the top ten for Mitchelton-SCOTT after some bad luck at Ronde van Drenthe

Sun 11 Mar 2018

After a seamless ride throughout the day, Mitchelton-SCOTT found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, being caught behind a crash with two kilometres to go that kept them contesting the final of Ronde van Drenthe today.

Belgian champion Jolien D’hoore recovered as best as possible to come home in 11th position behind winner Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans).

Wet weather sees removal of technical finale:
Organisations made the decision mid-race to take a deviation and eliminate the final two sectors of cobbles on today’s parcours. It reduces the length of the day but just three kilometres but also removed the technical element of the finale that could have provided a launch pad for a late move. 

Elvin tries luck late:
As the cat and mouse began in the approach to the finale, Gracie Elvin and Jessica Allen played gatekeepers at the front of the bunch to ensure no one slipped away in the closing kilometres. 

Grabbing the opportunity, Elvin launched a move of her own with 11km remaining and gaining a small gap. Having given the team a brief respite from the controlling work, she was caught again a few kilometres later. 

Unlucky in the end:
With the cobbles adding technicality it was down to the finishing circuit and with a big bunch coming into the final seven-kilometre lap together it made for a tense finale. A number of crashes saw riders going down, but whilst they avoided the carnage Mitchelton-SCOTT were held up with two kilometres to go and never had the chance to recover. 

Jolien d’Hoore: 11th place:
“It’s a bit frustrating. We got stuck after a crash with two kilometres to go. There was a gap and I lost my teammates at that point. I closed the gap with 1km to go but I was too far to sprint.” 

“We did everything right, just some bad luck again in the final. The team was super strong and we showed ourselves again.” 

Gracie Elvin: Late move:
“We predicted that it would really split up over the four times up the VAMberg but it didn’t. The bunch was so big with 50km to go I thought it would be a high chance for a bunch sprint, especially as we got the information over the radio that the last two of three cobble sections were removed.

“The bunch split up a little through the last cobble section and afterwards with attacks from us and other teams, but the speed was so high in the bunch that nothing was staying away for very long. I got away on my own with a lap and a half to go but I needed some more riders with me!

“Unfortunately there was a big crash about two kilometres to go that I was in and held up some of the bunch. Jolien did her best to follow the other sprinters but could not make up enough positions towards the finish.  

“We are disappointed with no top result today because we raced well as a team and always had a rider in the front every time in split. We were surprised how big the bunch was at the finish today, it shows the depth of women’s cycling has grown again.” 

1. Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans) 4:06:44
2. Alexis Ryan (Canyon SRAM) ST
3. Chloe Hosking Ale Cipollini) +0:01
11. Jolien D’hoore (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:01

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.