Last weekend the TALENT Elabo U19 Team rode the Tour du Gévaudan Occitanie. Driving as a team and being ready for each other were the goals of Maud Oudeman, Freja Ann Smith, Nina Maathuis, Norah Minck, Willemijn Prins and Carola van de Wetering in the UCI Junior Nations’ Cup competition. Did you succeed? Willemijn Prins tells you!
On the first day of the Tour du Gevaudan there was a course of 70 km on a local lap of 16 km. Right at the start, a lot of things happened right away. Falls turned the first round with quite a few flat tires and other breakdowns. You immediately noticed that the level was high this weekend.
Because it was very hectic in the peloton, it was difficult to get in front and Freja, Norah and Nina had to unload on the longest climb of the round. Maud and Nina rode strongly the first and second climb back to the group, but they could not do that again in the third round. Carola and I rode well in the peloton for the first three laps, after which I unfortunately had to unload on the attack in the third round. Carola was just able to close the gap and finished strong in the peloton. We can be proud of our girls for getting through the day without a hitch. It was a very educational day that we learned a lot from.
We got the toughest game of the weekend on the second day. There were two climbs of the first category that had to be climbed. The second ascent was the toughest and everyone knew that was where the highlight of the race was.”
“The neutralization was again very hectic, but because we started more relaxed, there was a more relaxed atmosphere for us. We had also taken the learning points from the day before and showed great improvements. Just before the 1st climb I fell into a small crash, but I was able to get up and drive on quickly. The girls came across the 10 km long climb well. The descent was a new experience with multiple hairpin bends, for some girls this was very difficult.”
“Together with Carola I was in the front group at the second climb of the day. The climb was a true battlefield. Carola was in the peloton after the ascent and I was in a group behind it. The other girls rode up well at their own pace. Maud did her own thing well and overtook a lot of runners on the climb. In the descent of the climb Nina fell due to a blowout which forced her to cross the finish line in the ambulance, but luckily she got rid of it with a few abrasions and a thick knee.”
“In this stage we showed that we are cut out of the right wood. We still have a few things to refine, but we can look forward to the next races. We learned a lot this weekend and showed that we are a good team.”