On Sunday 15th March, we will start UCI Women’s WorldTour race Ronde van Drenthe in Hoogeveen, The Netherlands. Our team’s roster will be Alice Barnes, Elena Cecchini, Tiffany Cromwell, Tanja Erath, Hannah Ludwig and Alexis Ryan.
The 159km parcours has eleven cobblestone sections and three ascents of the short but steep VAMberg climb, with pitches up to 21%. With the traditional Dutch narrow roads and winds, the race is usually frantic.
“The last time I raced Ronde van Drenthe was in 2017 where I finished second. I have always said Drenthe was the type of race that you need to have a big plate of pasta for breakfast for. It hasn’t changed. I expect it to be a long, hard race with so many key moments that it will be almost impossible to target them all. The only way to have success in this race is to be alert from kilometre 0 to kilometre 159,” described Elena Cecchini.
While Elena lines up in her fifth edition of the WorldTour race, her teammate Tanja Erath, will race her first Ronde van Drenthe. In her third season with our team, the German rider feels positioning and race confidence are becoming a natural instinct.
“My personal goals are building on the confidence I gained at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. I would like to maintain a presence and level of concentration, but at the same time save more energy with even smarter racing. I want to be there in the early part of the race and still be there in the final,” said Tanja.
“At Omloop Het Nieuwsblad I could tell that positioning and skills in the bunch are not a limiting factor for me anymore. I would like to go to the start line on Sunday with a new mindset; pushing my limits further and therefore my goals.”
Tanja also echoed the words of Elena on the race description, “Drenthe is the kind of race that can’t really be predicted. It’s Dutch racing at its best with strong winds, tough weather conditions, cobbles, and some short punchy climbs in a largely flat race. A lot of possible scenarios make it quite an exciting race for riders as well as spectators. I love long and cold races, so I guess Ronde van Drenthe can become one of my favourites,” said Tanja.
How to follow
The 159.1km Ronde van Drenthe starts at 12:05CET on Sunday 15th March and is expected to finish around 16:10CET. The race can be followed on Twitter with #UCIWWT or livestream the action on GCN Racing, NOS, RTV Drenthe or Eurosport.