Team DSM’s Women’s program crowned off a brilliant season with a sensational display of riding at Ronde van Drenthe today, with Lorena Wiebes finishing off an incredible team performance to take the win.
Lining up for their last race of the season this afternoon at Ronde van Drenthe; the peloton were faced with a 160 kilometre long parcours from Assen to Hoogeveen. The opening half of the race would see the bunch tackle some unpaved and cobbled sections, before in the latter part they would take on four ascents of the infamous man-made VAM-berg climb, followed by a flat 14 kilometres to the line.
It was a steady opening to the afternoon with one solo rider eventually breaking clear but as the race charged into the last 70 kilometres it was all back together and infernal barrage of attacks started. The team worked expertly together, rotating well and making sure that they were represented in any dangerous moves, with Megan Jastrab notably present in several. With the high pace just slowing inside 40 kilometres to go, newly-crowned British champion Pfeiffer Georgi launched a stinging attack and went clear with Barnes, while the rest of the team held their good position at the front of the bunch.
The duo built up a 20 second advantage as they headed towards the final three ascents of the VAM-berg. Riding well together, Georgi and Barnes held onto that lead over the following two ascents, only caught just before the bottom of the last climb. Moving forward en masse, the team were expertly positioned for the final stinging climb, with Georgi, Franziska Koch, Floortje Mackaij and Lorena Wiebes making a front group of seven.
With the race in the balance, Georgi and Koch pushed the pace and gave it their all at the front to break the will of the reduced chasing group, where Susanne Andersen was also policing proceedings. Eventually the elastic snapped and it became clear the front group would fight it out for the win.
Dictating the finale, just like they did throughout the race, the team delivered Wiebes perfectly who launched out of Mackaij’s wheel in the closing 150 metres to take a dominating win; Team DSM’s Women program’s 18th win of the season. To round off a superb day Mackaij, Georgi, Koch and Andersen all finished in positions five through eight, meaning that Team DSM made up half of the top ten in the race.