A win in the opening time trial and two strong team performances on the sprint stages ensured Ellen van Dijk the overall vicotry at the EasyToys Bloeizone Fryslân Tour
Ellen van Dijk added a fifth overall title at the EasyToys Bloeizone Fryslân Tour to her already impressive palmarès as she rolled across the line in Drachten following another solid team performance from the Trek-Segefredo women on the final 137-kilometer stage of the race.
How it happened?
The world time trial champion took control of the three-day race right from kilometer zero, showing that she is enjoying being back in the rainbow bands by securing victory on stage one with a seven-second advantage over the next-best rider.
The following two days proved to be hectic with a mix of wind and opportunistic breakaway attempts trying to upset what, on paper, and ultimately in reality, were stages suited to the sprinters.
Chloe Hosking narrowly missed out on the team’s second win of the race on stage two as van Dijk came across the line in eighth position to ensure she went into the final day of racing with the pink leader’s firmly on her shoulders.
Just like they had done the previous day, the Trek-Segafredo team rallied together on the third and final stage to ensure that a big group went to the line together and that van Dijk’s position at the top of the General Classification was safe.
Letizia Paternoster was the Team’s best-placed rider on stage three, sprinting to ninth place on the line but the day’s ultimate goal was achieved with van Dijk finishing in the first half of the main bunch to secure overall victory.
“It’s been a couple of very nice days with this small team here, staff and riders, and we’ve had a lot of fun. I am very happy to take the win here. My main objective was to win the TT on the first day, which I achieved, and then, I thought it was going to be more challenging to defend the overall lead because we were here with a small team, just four of us at the end. However, the girls did a really really great job and it’s very cool to see how the younger riders are stepping up. Letizia is getting better with every race and Elynor is looking super strong too, it’s cool to see her working so hard for the team.
I am feeling happy and racing is going very well. To have three wins already is a super good start and I want to keep going like this.
“I am really pleased with that and I am also getting really inspired by these girls and the way they are developing. For me, it’s nice to be able to guide them a little bit at these kinds of races and seeing them do so well was the highlight of this GC win for sure. I also need to add a thank you to Chloe as today she was working to help me and gave up her sprint chances, so that was nice.
“We always had today’s stage under control. There was never a dangerous situation but for me, personally, it’s pretty stressful to ride in a bunch on flat roads where it’s splitting all the time and you have to be super attentive as there are a lot of girls who want to be in the front. Fighting for position is not my speciality so for me it was a bit stressful. Not in a way that I thought I was going to loose the overall lead but you have to be attentive every second of the race and that is not my strongest point sometimes so, I was very relieved when I crossed the line in the bunch and had the win in my pocket.
“I am happy about how I have started my season. I feel good, I am in good shape and on top of that I feel like I have more confidence this year than I did last year which is also maybe helping me win. I think that is partly because of the jerseys I have the honor of wearing but also because I am just in a good place. I am feeling happy and racing is going very well. To have three wins already is a super good start and I want to keep going like this.”