The Healthy Ageing Tour is done and dusted. With two stage victories (Jolien D’Hoore and Lonneke Uneken) out of three and a 4th (Lonneke Uneken) and 5th (Amy Pieters) place in the GC, it has been a good one!
We take you back to Wednesday 10 March to Assen. After a fast stage Jolien D’Hoore took the first victory for Team SD Worx at the MotoGP circuit of Assen in a bunch sprint, which was marred by an ugly crash of Lorena Wiebes of Team DSM. In a quick reaction after the podium ceremony, Jolien D’Hoore responds: “It soon look liked it was going to be a sprint. During the stage riders could gain some boni-seconds, but furthermore nothing really happened. I focused all stage on the sprint. The team gave me one goal, to win the sprint and yes that worked our pretty well. I almost crashed when Wiebes got down, but I could still make it to catch Alice Barnes at the finish. I’m pretty happy to take the win for the team that day. I want to go for my chance, and had great team who helped me, so this was a great first day.”
After this win, D’Hoore was also the leader of the General Classification and could start in the yellow jersey the next day.
The second stage was an individual time trial over 14.4 kilometres amongst the coastlines of the Netherlands. Due to the bad weather conditions and the strong wind, the start was postponed twice. At 16:00 the start signal was given. Amy Pieters was one of the last riders to start. With the fastest intermediate time, and an average speed of 40.5 km p/h, she finished in the second time of 21’19. 26 seconds behind stage winner and former World Champion ITT Ellen van Dijk.
Jolien D’Hoore lost her yellow jersey during this time trial, as Ellen van Dijk took also the lead in the GC. Due to a great result Amy Pieters took the second place in the GC, 23 seconds behind the leader.
The third, and last, stage was on and around the famous VAM-berg. A 48 meter high former garbage bump with some pretty steep climbs. The teamwork of our riders was amazing, and in every break-away one of our riders was represented. Within the decisive group no less than 5! But Lonneke Uneken was flying, attacked again and managed to extend her lead to 2.5 minutes, due to great teamwork of the other Team SD Worx riders in the group of favourites. For a long time Uneken was also the virtual leader of the General Classification.
While she gave everything she had, the group with favourites behind her started to speed-up. The lead dropped, but it was still enough for a great victory of our youngster!
“I didn’t expect this this morning”, said Uneken who lives not far away from the area of the Healthy Ageing Tour. “It was really hard, and I attacked really soon. At a moment some teammates came back to my group. I attacked again, was gone and teammates blocked my move. I only had to keep riding. The victory kept me motivated.”
Photo credits: Sportfoto.nl