Tough Day For BPCT In Drenthe
The opening day of racing of the UCI World Cup turned out to be a tough one for the Bigla Pro Cycling Team in Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe. The day got off to an unlucky start when Joëlle Numainville was unable to take to the start due to illness.
After racing got underway, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was involved in a crash early on, hindering her chances for the later period.
Each cobble section through the forest caused the peloton to shrink and as the race got more select, BPCT was well represented. However, going through one of the arduous sections of the race, a major crash took out several key riders including Shelley Olds and Lotta Lepistö. Initial reports showed no broken bones.
Accelerations up the VAMberg by Elizabeth Armisted (Boels-Dolmans) and Lisa Brennaur (Velocio-SRAM) with 25 kilometres to go caused what looked like the race winning selection, forcing a small group off the front. Annemiek van Vleuten made the junction and was the team’s only representative. In the closing stages around 10km four riders broke away which also looked dangerous.
Van Veluten was part of a 12 women chase group which bridged the gap with 7km to go. It looked like the win might be contested from this group, however a hard chase from the group behind which included Dutch champion Iris Slappendel, ensured a large group go to the line together. Wiggle-Honda took it upon to lead it out and enjoyed the spoils as they won the day with Jolien D'Hoore ahead of Amy Pieters (Liv-Plantur) and Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans).
Annemiek van Vleuten
I just didn't have the legs I had on Thursday. I don't know why but still I managed to be in a good position the whole day. We had Shelley, Lotta and Iris in good positions the whole day until the crash. After the VAMberg I was alone in front and had really good coaching from Manel. He told me who to follow but it was always going to be tough so the other teams having so many riders in the front.
Manel Lacambra, Sports Director
We started with only with 5 riders because Joëlle woke up feeling sick. Then in the first cobble section Ashleigh was involved in a crash but she is ok. Then before the 2nd Vamberg there was a big crash with Shelley and Lotta involved. Nothing very bad but we will need to check later how they are. Van Vleuten made a very good race but racing alone in a big group of riders was almost impossible to have success.
Unfortunately not the legs of thursday for me and bad luck with crashes for my teammates. Was alone in the final. Next race, tomorrow!
— Annemiek van Vleuten (@AvVleuten) March 14, 2015
— Iris Slappendel (@irisslappendel) March 14, 2015