One-day racing returned for our Women’s program today at the brand-new GP Oetingen. Taking place on 12 laps of a ten kilometre long circuit which featured some cobbles and climbs, it was expected to be a hard day in the saddle.
As the bunch rolled out from the start line, a strong wind deterred any early attacks and the peloton was happy to roll around together. The team rode well as a group and were always attentive at the front of the bunch, covering any dangerous moves that looked as if they were going to go clear. Heading into the final 50 kilometres a group of 18 riders broke clear, with Floortje Mackaij up there to represent the team.
The pressure was on other teams with numbers and it became a cagey affair as the race approached the finale. Mackaij attempted to get clear on the final cobbled section, hoping to draw clear a group of riders but she wasn’t given any freedom. After a few more attacks, particularly on the finale climb, the day was decided in a reduced sprint with Mackaij crossing the line for a solid seventh place finish.
“We wanted to try and make it a hard race, and play the numbers,” explained Mackaij at the finish. “In general it was a hard but kind of strange race. Until the halfway point we were really good. Susanne, Wilma and Franziska were really good at the front with positioning and that meant that I could be there in the front group of around 15 girls. From that point there were attacks but I waited until the last cobbled section and tried something there but couldn’t get away. On the final climb Marianne and Amy went full gas and it came to a sprint from a small group, where I came seventh. I think overall we did a good race together and in the finale everyone was on their limit and went super deep.”
Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “I think the race was a little bit slower than we thought it would be. We covered the attacks as well as possible and got Floortje into the group of 18 which was good. In the final Floortje tried to attack herself and follow the attacks but she couldn’t get away. In the end she was seventh in the sprint so it was an okay day for us, with some good points and learning points to take from it as well. It’s another step closer to the classics and our shape is getting better.”
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|Team Jumbo-Visma Women
Photo Credit: Cor Vos