Continuing their fantastic early season form, Team DSM’s Women’s program tasted victory for the second time in 2022 as Lorena Wiebes powered home to take the win at Ronde van Drenthe after a brilliant team effort, doubling-up on the team’s win at the race in 2021.
The famous or infamous, depending on how you look at it, VAM-berg lay ahead of the peloton this afternoon with four ascents of the steep, cobbled, man-made climb to contend with over the 155 kilometre long Ronde van Drenthe route. Setting out with a plan, the team wanted to replicate their 2021 success and aimed to bring finisher Lorena Wiebes into the finale in the best way possible.
Working well as a group, Megan Jastrab and Leah Kirchmann ensured that no dangerous moves escaped early in the day, before the race began to split up on the VAM-berg and the surrounding windswept roads. Strong positioning work from Franziska Koch allowed Floortje Mackaij, Pfeiffer Georgi and Wiebes to make the front group with 30 kilometres to go; where both Mackaij and Georgi policed and expertly marked out attacks.
As a result, the race was all together for the last ascent of the VAM-berg where an infernal pace was set by other teams. Mackaij managed to make the reduced front group of around ten riders, with Georgi and Wiebes in the group just behind. After some brilliant slowing of the group from Mackaij and a massive turn from Georgi, the two groups came together. Yet, the attacks didn’t stop and just as things came back together with ten kilometres to go, a dangerous quartet went clear. Shouldered with the bulk of the work, Georgi and Mackaij worked tirelessly on the front of the chasing bunch before other teams chipped in with around four kilometres to go.
It was a nail biting finish but the quartet were caught in the closing 600 metres, with Georgi dropping off Wiebes in third wheel. With the finish line beckoning, Wiebes got the jump on the other sprinters and powered clear, instantly getting a gap of a bike length and from there no one was able to come around her in the closing 150 metres. Sitting up to celebrate, Wiebes let out a scream of delight, which was mimicked by the joyous celebrations from the rest of the team as they joined her after the line: marking another brilliant win after some superb teamwork.
|1||WIEBES Lorena||Team DSM||4:03:31||400|
|2||BALSAMO Elisa||Trek - Segafredo||0:01||320|
|3||KOPECKY Lotte||Team SD Worx||,,||260|