Dwingeloo 8, Thursday 14th April; Novilon Eurocup, Friday 15th April; Ronde van Drenthe, Saturday 16th April
Are you in mourning for the men's cobbled season? I am, but luckily for me, it's Drenthe week, where the women race like lunatics around the cobbley northern Netherlands. You should read Monty's preview of the Drenthe races, because it's awesome, but here's Vicki Whitelaw's mini-description of Saturday's World Cup Ronde van Drenthe:
The Dutch cobbles are sharper and more brutal than those in Ronde Van Vlanderen. Because many are within the forest tracks, they remain in the shade for a majority of the day so are usually mossy and lovely and slippery! Bring it on!
Today's race is the Dwingeloo 8 aka Acht van Dwingeloo. I am reliably informed by a trustworthy Dutchman that Dwingeloo can be translated as either "subdue the forest" or "pound the wood"... 142km of flat Dutch-style racing, less explosive than it could be, because although it's UCI 1.1 (WVDS Cat 4 - so scoring for the top 15 finishers), it's also definitely a warm-up for RvD. More on the race below - but remember, Ronde van Drenthe is shown live online on Saturday!!! CHECK BACK HERE FOR CONFIRMED START-TIMES, as there is conflicting information! If you've been wondering why people get excited about women's racing, this is a chance to check it out! And seriously, RvD is fabulous - a race with cobbles, and the craziest climb in cycling? Yay!
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit, 3:21:30
2. Shelley Olds (USA) Diadora-Pasta Zara, s.t.
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec UCK, s.t.
4. Martine Bras (Ned) Dolman's Landscaping, s.t.
5. Liesbet de Vocht (Bel) TopSport Vlaanderen, s.t.
6. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Colavita-Forno d'Asolo, s.t.
7. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini, s.t
8. Belinda Goss (Aus) Australia, s.t.
9. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Lotto Honda, s.t.
10. Isabelle Söderberg (Swe) Alriksson Go-Green, s.t.
11. Chloe Hosking (Aus) HTC-Highroad, s.t.
12. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Colavita-Forno d'Asolo, s.t.
13. Lizzie Armitstead (Gbr) Garmin-Cervélo, s.t.
14. Julia Martisova (Rus) Gauss, s.t.
15. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Colavita-Forno d'Asolo, s.t.
UPDATE: VDS result after Dwingeloo: WVDS110414
Video of Dwingeloo below the jump!
Actually, possibly the only thing you might need to know about the Ronde van Drenthe is that last year, Aussie cyclist Bridie O'Donnell got lost on the way to the race, and ended up in the middle of a re-enactment of a WWII battle. Poor woman, you can hear her, live on radio, getting confused & frustrated right here. I probably shouldn't laugh about it so much, I bet she'd rather we forgot all about it.
Anyway, 3 minutes of Dwingeloo video!
It's the flattest race of the three, and according to our-man-tweeting-from-the-car, Manel Lacambra, the riders stayed together for most of the race (it'll probably come clear later if that was "staying together through mutual consent" or "lots of escape attempts that came to nothing"). Team USA's Jacquelyn Crowell had a good try at getting away, gaining at least 20 seconds, winning the
Pavé Sprinter award most aggressive rider prize (editing serves me right for getting all my info from twitter!) - and Elisa Longo Borghini of TopGirls tried to join her, but both were doomed.... There were apparently crashes (updates on that welcome) and punctures in the last 10km (which apparently included a significant cobbled section) - Rochelle Gilmore of Lotto was one of the unfortunate puncture victims - though she still finished Top 10. Here's what some of the riders had to say about the race:
Alison Starnes (Team USA):
Yay for Jackey Crowell today, got the Pave Sprinter award when she was off the front! That was a flat 140k, bring on the World Cup on Sat!
Bridie O'Donnell (TopGirls Fassa Bortolo):
well, I saw less of the damn convoy than last year! We av 40km/h for 140k & at this rate of improvement, I'll win the race in 2030. Or not.
Tiffany Cromwell (Lotto Honda)
Drentse 8 done. Felt good then 5km in crashed hard, bruised knee, 30km chase back to bunch then struggled to the finish. http://t.co/C1CWB4z
Carla Ryan (Garmin-Cervélo)
Suffered through #drenthe8. Happy to make it to the end in one peace. That's Dutch racing!!
Amber Neben (HTC):
Drentse 8 in the books. Fast, Flat, Sketchiness...the usual Dutch style of fun!
And here's Manel Lacambra's podium pic!
Cycling Fever also have a preview of Ronde van Drenthe - and if you're feeling like you wish you could go back in time & make a team that would have destroyed Majope's, you can play their World Cup game and make a team just for this race. If you're into a PdC subleague, tell me what your RvD team is called in the comments, and we can bring on the smack-talk!
So you're wanting to watch, but can't remember how? Either tune into RTV Drenthe online - check back for times, because I've seen it reported as both starting & finishing at 14:30, which can't be right - or Monty says you can paste mms://188.8.131.52/RTVVideo into your favourite media player. There'll be a live thread (yay Jens!) (that's our-Jens, exclamation-mark, not Jens!) and if you have never watched much women's racing, there'll be people happy to do their best to answer any questions - and tell you "useful" snippets about the riders. If we're really lucky, those trustworthy Dutch-speakers will be about to translate things we might need to know!