Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank’s 2021 season is coming to a close, but not before the squad takes the line for the demanding Drentse Acht van Westerveld and Ronde van Denthe this Friday and Saturday.
Drentse Acht van Westerveld (1.2) serves as the precursor of sorts for the prestigious Ronde van Drenthe (1.WWT) the following day. For the first time in history, Drenthe will lower the curtain on the Women’s WorldTour series in 2021, months after its traditional spot in March as the opener for the Spring Classics.
“With rain and strong winds forecast for Friday’s Drentse Acht van Westerveld and ten cobbled sectors and four ascents of the famous VAM-burg on the menu for Saturday’s Ronde van Drenthe, I am expecting two challenging and exciting races. We’re looking to finish off our great European season in style.”
These are the kind of conditions made for Dutch sprinter Nina Kessler, who recently took home the sprinter’s jersey at The Women’s Tour. Both Drentse (140.2 km) and Drenthe (159 km) feature cobbles, short but steep leg-sapping climbs, and the ever-present Dutch wind – a combination of elements in which Kessler thrives.
“For me personally, both races in Drenthe are some of my favorites,” Kessler said. “The cobbles and narrow roads are a combination that makes the race always hectic and hard.”
“It’s weird to do these at the end of the season, but I’m still motivated and excited for both events, so maybe that’s already an advantage for me.”
Joining Kessler on the roster for Drenthe Acht van Westerveld and Ronde van Drenthe are Eva Buurman, Kristen Faulkner, Veronica Ewers, and Nicole Frain.
“I think the races will be hard and really fast, similar to the speeds that we saw in the Women’s Tour where, if not raced aggressively, could result in a bunch finish,” Frain said. “I haven’t ridden these cobbles before, but I am told, compared to Roubaix, they are marginally better. However, the cobbles coupled with the forecast, rain, and a large peloton will still make for a hectic and challenging race. I think positioning will be really important.
“I’m looking forward to the last races of the season with my teammates before heading back to Australia for the summer of racing.”
How to watch
Ronde van Drenthe will be available to watch via GCN Race Pass/Eurosport Player in all territories. Coverage starts at 5:00 a.m. PST.