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Van Rooijen Claims First UCI Victory in Drentse Acht van Westerveld

Sofie van Rooijen secured her maiden UCI victory in the Drentse Acht van Westerveld, outpacing Chiara Consonni and Rachele Barbieri in a thrilling finish.

The race, starting and concluding in Dwingeloo, featured a challenging parcours altered from previous editions. Nominally called the Drentse 8 because of the shape of the race route, the new version made it more of a Drentse 6. It’s also a warm-up for the Ronde van Drenthe held tomorrow in the same area. Despite expectations for a potential mass sprint, the windy conditions dictated a different narrative. Early in the race, the peloton splintered into multiple groups, with VolkerWessels’ riders driving the pace at the front and getting a number of riders in the front group.

The eventual winner Sofie Van Rooijen showcased her strength at this moment, leading a determined breakaway and maintaining a decisive advantage. Despite late attacks and efforts to bridge the gap, the peloton remained intact for the sprint finish. In a display of sprint speed against bigger-name rivals, Van Rooijen emerged victorious, with Consonni and Barbieri settling for the second and third places respectively despite being faster riders on paper.

(l-r) Chiara Consonni, Sofie van Rooijen, Rachele Barbieri
(Photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

For Van Rooijen, the victory marked a significant milestone, securing her first UCI win. The triumph also highlighted the dominance of VolkerWessels, formerly Parkhotel Valkenburg, in the race.

Reflecting on the race, Consonni acknowledged the demanding conditions and expressed determination for future opportunities. The race showcased the team’s resilience and highlighted Consonni’s prowess as a sprinter, albeit one who hasn’t quite finished off races without the likes of Lorena Wiebes, Charlotte Kool or Elisa Balsamo involved.

2024 Drentse Acht van Westerveld result

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Main photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency