Race weekend in Drenthe
The Ronde van Drenthe is the first race of the season in the Netherlands. It consists of two separate races. On Friday our U23 team races the Drentse 8 and on Saturday our elite team lines up for the Women’s World Tour.
Yuli van der Molen (NED), Julia Grégoire (BEL), Febe Jooris (BEL), Senne Knaven (BEL), Jade Lindthoudt (BEL) and Eline van Rooijen (NED) race the Drentse 8. It’s 140 kilometer long with start in Dwingeloo, in the northeast of the Netherlands. Our team for Drentse 8 is almost the same team as Craywinckelhof Omloop van het Hageland. Yuli spent the day in the breakaway and is ready for more.
“I felt pretty good in Hageland last week and that's why I chose that attack that lasted 50 kilometers,” says Yuli. “I think that as a team we have also taken a nice step there by learning to communicate well and to ride as a group.
Last year I also rode in Drenthe and I thought that was a great race. It is typically Dutch with a lot of wind. I hope for wind this year too because if the weather turns bad, we can ride nicely as a team in the echelons. I believe that as a team we can perform well here with opportunities in the attack or a sprint. I myself hope for smaller groups with myself in the first group, of course. Then I have a chance to show a good sprint,” concludes the 19-year-old Dutch rider.
The Saturday after the Drentse 8, the Women's World Tour Ronde van Drenthe is on the menu. It is a prestigious race with an impressive honors list. Jolien D'hoore won there in 2015.
AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step has an experienced team with Romy Kasper (13th participation), Lotta Henttala (seventh participation), Maaike Boogaard (fifth participation), Ilse Pluimers and Maud Rijnbeek (each third participation) and Julia Borgström (second participation).
“Drenthe is above all a race that I really consider one of the classics,” says Maaike Boogaard, one of the three Dutch riders representing the team. “You have the cobbles, the open areas with the wind and of course the VAM-berg. These are all ingredients for a tough race, especially since the course is also 160 kilometers long.
The VAM berg is actually a rubbish dump that you can now ride on from three sides. On one of those sides, you have cobblestones. It is always a difficult point in the race because there is a lot of fighting for position in the narrow run-up,” explains Maaike.
“We have already shown that we are a strong team. Of course, there are small things that can be improved, but if everything falls into place, we will see beautiful things on Saturday. We have riders for the attack and Lotta for a sprint. Racing in my own country is always extra special for me and I am really looking forward to giving everything with the girls to achieve a great result together,” she concludes.