Australian champion Sarah Roy was active in the final of today’s WorldTour race, Ronde van Drenthe, the last race of the 2021 season for the women’s peloton, sprinting to 13th place from a chasing group.
A small group escaped ahead of the final and contested the victory, with Roy racing aggressively and actively throughout the 159km one-day event, alongside teammate Janneke Ensing, who enjoy the final outing of her professional cycling career, going on the offensive early on.
Ensing attacked and at the 100km to go mark, led the race with one other rider with an advantage of 1min 30seconds. The move was eventually brought back, but with Ensing claiming the cobble stone prize to round-out her successful and lengthy career as a professional cyclist in a race close to her home.
Coming into the final, after tacking 10 cobble sectors and four ascents of the VAM berg climb, seven riders headed to the finish line together to contest the sprint in Hoogeveen, with Roy ready to battle it out for the minor placings.
After a brave effort, the Australian finished the day in 13th place, marking the end of her impressive seven-year career with GreenEDGE Cycling.
“Once the race really started as we were coming into the VAM berg (climb) for the first time, about 100km in it the race, it was hard. I was isolated by that point but was able to follow everything on the VAM and afterwards.
The third time over the climb, I attacked and rode as hard as I could over the second climb too but it wasn’t enough to reach the two riders that were out front or create a good group willing to work together so we hit the VAM berg for the last time as a pretty chunky group again.
With only a few kilometres between each lap, I wasn’t able to go with the final move on the VAM berg so in hindsight I’m disappointed I wasted my energy on that attack earlier.
With it being the end of a really tough season, I’m both emotionally and physically pretty worn out and I don’t have too many bullets to throw around so perhaps would have been better to just go with moves and not gamble like I did, especially when I didn’t have teammates left there to back me up.
It’s a bit of an empty feeling to end the season this way, it was a solid performance but another underwhelming result. The radio calls from our sport director today were really encouraging, to see Janneke Ensing out front gaining the cobble prize in her last race ever, and all the cuddles at the end of the day was a nice way to finish things off with the team.”
2021 Ronde van Drenthe results:
1. Lorena Wiebes 4:07:34
2. Elena Cecchini ST
3. Elenora Gasparrini ST
13. Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) +1:15