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Team of the week: Dutch domination edition

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The week in women’s cycling

Amy Pieters leads Elena Cecchini and Lisa Klein in the break at the 2019 European Championships in Alkmaar
Amy Pieters on the front
Getty Images

Races

The UEC Road Championships in Alkmaar, now including a time trial mixed relay, which—inevitably—the Dutch team won. Expect similar in this event at the Yorkshire Worlds.

Elsewhere, the inaugural three day Women’s Tour of Scotland, and in Belgium the MerXem Classic, a pan-flat one-dayer.

Coverage

The Euros were shown live and should be still available on Eurosport and elsewhere.

Brief highlights—and decent social media—for Scotland, plus our own Dave-L’s excellent photos and summaries here. Despite being badly hit by the weather, which caused the first stage to be abandoned on police advice, and the clash with the Euros, TotW thought the race seemed both well-organised and well-supported. Dave’s summing up is definitely worth a read.

Riders

  1. Amy Pieters [2]: Won the Euro road race from the break, though with her Dutch teammates pulling on the front of the peloton TotW feared for a while a repeat of Glasgow last year. Pieters suggested afterwards it was a deliberate tactic to head off possible attacks. In any case, she played the finale coolly, outmanoevering Lisa Klein and outsprinting Elena Cecchini for a literal home win not far from her house in Alkmaar. Rider of the week.
  2. Ellen van Dijk [3]: Won her fourth consecutive European TT title on a flat and windy course that could’ve been designed for her.
  3. Leah Thomas: Set up by her Bigla teammates who always had the race under control, Thomas won the final stage of the Tour of Scotland from a reduced bunch in Holyrood Park. Combined with the bonus points she’d picked up as leader of the sprints jersey, it was enough to win the overall, a deserved result for a rider who’s put in a huge amount of work for her team this season.
  4. Alison Jackson: Bigla didn’t have it all their own way in Scotland. Tibco’s Jackson won the sprint for the second stage on the line in Perth and collected enough bonuses to stay second on GC the next day.
  5. Lisa Klein [3]: The only rider to win a medal in all three competitions at the Euros, Klein finished second behind Van Dijk in the TT, third behind Pieters in the road race, and second with her Germany teammates behind the Netherlands in the mixed relay.
  6. Lotte Kopecky [2]: Beat the excellently-named Dutch 20 year old Charlotte Kool and Coryn Rivera to win the less excellently-named MerXem Classic in a sprint. Kopecky’s first win of the VDS season, thus passing on the title of most VDS points without a win to Boels’ part-time road racer Annika Langvad.

Honourable mentions

The Euro U23 races seem a bit of a curiosity now there’s also an elite competition, but they did at least give us some non-Dutch winners. Italy’s Letizia Paternoster won the road race ahead of Marta Lach and Lonneke Uneken. In the TT, young German Hannah Ludwig took advantage of the flat, exposed roads for a dominant win over Maria Novolodskaya and Elena Pirrone.

Ellen van Dijk competing in the individual time trial at the 2019 European championships in Alkmaar.
Maybe Ellen van Dijk likes this race?
Getty Images

Team of the week

Bigla were the big fishes at the Women’s Tour of Scotland and rode like it, animating the race and coming away with a clean sweep of the jerseys (except, of course, best Scottish rider). Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig won Queen of the Mountains (also winning a lot of Scottish fans with a characteristic post-race interview) and Nikola Nosková won Best Young Rider.

But it’s the Netherlands who get the award for winning everything at the Euros. Though also for managing not to screw up the road race this time.

Word of the week

Dreich.

In memoriam

All last week’s racing was overshadowed by Bjorg Lambrecht’s death at the Tour of Poland. The Women’s Tour of Scotland paid tribute with the Lotto-Soudal riders at the head of the peloton. Their teammate Lotte Kopecky dedicated her win in Merksem to his memory, and in Scotland Parkhotel’s Ann Sophie Duyck gave an emotional interview after she was awarded the stage 3 combativity prize.

FSA DS

Thanks to Pieters, Klein, Kopecky and Wiebes, GWolcott’s South Shore Cycling has finally knocked the Bethinhas off the top, now down in third. Vlaanderen 90’s Yas Queen! are up into second.

Despite wannabe’s season-long ambition to win the Tour of Scotland, his team finished 7th, notwithstanding a long-awaited win for Leah Thomas. The appropriately-named Saltire finished joint second along with 2thvet but amylmock’s Paparedda e Beddu were overall winners, with points from Thomas, Jackson and Emma White.

Draft

Awaiting updates. TotW is very happy with Leah Thomas’s WTOS victory, however.

WWT predictor

On hiatus. Look out for the Vårgårda TTT (WWT17) and road race (WWT18) later in the week.