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Park Hotel Rooding Hills/Holland Hills/Valkenburg Classic - 8th August

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It's a hugely race-heavy Sunday, with the Route de France, Sparkassen Giro and the Junior World Championships...  and the Holland Hills Classic.  It's renamed this year because it was yet another women's race that was on the edge of collapse, but unlike so many other races, this one was saved at the last minute by Parkhotel Rooding, who are clearly fabulous.  Unlike the race website, but you can't have everything....  it does have the NOS report from last year's race, which was won by Marianne Vos, who attacked on the last climb, with Petra Dijkman, at 25km to go....

(I failed horribly to embed the video, but you can watch it here.... )

Marianne's on the official startlist for this year as well, but that doesn't mean anything, as she's also on the startlist for La Route de France... but still, there looks like a stiff competition.  More below!

I'd show you the race profile if I could find you one.  If you knew the area, you might be able to work one out from the route page - it's laps starting and finishing in Valkenburg.  But how crazy an assumption would it be that a race with the word "Hills" in the title has hills in it?  OK, OK, I know...  here's the googlemap for those who can make informed guesses about geography, but the list of riders who are coming (Marianne aside) has the tough classics types....

Grace Verbeke is down as leading Team Belgium, but then again, she's also down as riding Route de France with Lotto.  Luckily we can count on Emma Johansson - and lots of the Dutch teams...  You get the message - as ever, we'll know for sure who's riding when we see who finishes...  Cervélo are sending Claudia Häusler and Patricia Schwager - and I've seen reports Emma Pooley as well - but also Kirsten Wild, because....

This race is the 4th round of the KNWU Topcompetitie Vrouwen - the Dutch Cycling Federation's 5-round competition that includes the Omloop Van Borsele and RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden.  (Rules here).  Wild leads the competition by 140 points after her stupendous RaboSter - she's on 300 points, with 2nd placed Rochelle Gilmore on 160 (and riding Sparkassen, so she won't be threatening - neither will 3rd placed Kirsty Broun, so it's pretty safe to say Wild has this sewn up, as it's 100 points for whoever wins the races...) but the reasons I'm surprised Nederland Bloeit wouldn't ride is they're currently drawing with Cervélo on the team comp on 48 points each - with RedSun just 10 points behind - and Annemiek Van Vleuten and Marianne Vos are 4th & 5th in the standings respectively (full results for everything here).  Maybe they've just abandoned it to Cervélo?

Anyway, I'm always going to love a race full of breakaway artists and climbing types....  and if there was TV coverage last year, we might get some this year as well?  Here's to tv, photos, and fabulous racing!  As ever, if you know more, or find more, stick it in the comments!

Edit by Monty. Here's the bikemap profile. I can't see a single flat kilometer there:


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