In La Périgord Ladies, Dutch rider Amber Kraak, from Jumbo-Visma, achieved a significant milestone by racing to her first UCI-level victory. As she approached the final kilometre of this French one-day race, she brilliantly distanced herself from competitors Jade Wiel (FDJ-SUEZ) and Clara Emond (Arkéa). Emond had been ahead for much of the latter stage of the race, but on the penultimate hill, the Cote de Bauchaud, Kraak and Wiel caught up. Displaying great tactical nous, Kraak tried several times to pull away, and on her fourth attempt, she carved out a lead that she maintained until the end.
“This is my first victory at the UCI level and the biggest of my career”, Kraak proudly stated. “I was aiming for this race. I felt refreshed after the Tour. With most racers at the World Cup, I saw a chance here. It feels great to win.”
Having previously won the Volta Limburg Classic and the mountain classification of the Tour of Scandinavia in 2022, Kraak’s journey with Jumbo-Visma, which she joined in 2021, has been steadily upward. As a testament to her team’s dedication, she remarked, “We hoped to make the race challenging because it favoured me. The route had a lot of ups and downs and not many wide roads. My team worked hard to place me at the front. In the end, I tried to get away from as many racers as I could.”
Looking ahead, Kraak anticipates a less daunting course in tomorrow’s French one-day event, La Picto-Charentaise. “Making the race tough might be harder, but we’ll attempt to lead. We don’t want a sprint finish.”