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Sensation in Dwingeloo: Sofie van Rooijen’s thoughts after surprise win


In a surprising turn of events at the lively Brink of Dwingeloo, Sofie van Rooijen emerged victorious in the Drentse Acht van Westerveld, clinching her maiden UCI-level win. This triumph also marked a momentous occasion for VolkerWessels, celebrating their first victory since transitioning from the long-standing title sponsor, Parkhotel Valkenburg.

Reflecting on her achievement, Van Rooijen expressed disbelief, adorned with flowers and the winner’s yellow jersey. She admitted, “I’m still not entirely sure how I managed this.” Despite previous podium finishes, she had never secured a victory. She credited her teammates for their unwavering support throughout the race, instilling confidence in her ability to sprint.

The victory holds particular significance for Van Rooijen, considering the calibre of her competitors. Defeating seasoned riders like Chiara Consonni and Rachele Barbieri was a remarkable feat for the 21-year-old, who acknowledged their vast experience and numerous victories.

Van Rooijen’s journey to this triumph was marked by notable performances in her youth, including victories in junior women’s cyclocross events and a silver medal at the European Championships. Securing a contract with Parkhotel Valkenburg paved the way for podium finishes in various races, but the elusive victory finally came in the challenging Drentse Acht.

The Drentse 8 boasts an illustrious history, with past champions including cycling icons like Marianne Vos and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak. Van Rooijen aspires to emulate their success in the coming years, aiming to establish herself among the elite sprinters.

The collective effort of VolkerWessels contributed significantly to Van Rooijen’s victory. Executing their race plans flawlessly, the team demonstrated unity and determination amidst challenging conditions. Van Rooijen emphasized the importance of teamwork and expressed gratitude for her teammates’ support.

For VolkerWessels, this victory serves as a promising start to their sponsorship tenure, signalling a successful transition from Parkhotel Valkenburg. Van Rooijen highlighted the team’s cohesion and improved performance this season, indicating a bright future ahead for the squad.