After the conclusion of the spring classics with Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the women’s formation of Team Jumbo-Visma is preparing for Festival Elsy Jacobs. Riejanne Markus is one of the cyclists who is especially looking forward to the three-day stage race in Luxembourg.
After two months of one-day races – the only exception being the Healthy Ageing Tour – it is time for stage races in May. The thirteenth edition of Festival Elsy Jacobs starts with a 2.2 kilometres prologue in Cessange. The two following stages are both longer than one hundred kilometres and contain several short but vicious climbs.
In the last edition, in 2019, Riejanne Markus opened this race with a strong time trial and finished third on the podium. In the final stage she took another shot at victory, but after a strong solo in the final she was caught by the peloton just before the finish line. “The finish was just ten metres too far, otherwise I would have won the general classification. In the past few weeks and especially in Liège-Bastogne-Liège I have gained confidence. So, I am really looking forward to this race.”
“Time trials are my favourite cycling discipline”, Markus continues. “Due to the cancellation of many races, I was hardly able to ride them last year. The last one was during the World Championship Mixed Relay in 2019. This weekend, after the prologue, we’ll see what kind of position we’re in and then we’ll have two days of good racing. In any case, both stages lend themselves to a tough race with a lot of attacks.”
Ceratizit Festival Elsy Jacobs (30/4 – 2/5)
Julie Van de Velde
Nancy van der Burg