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The Women's Road Racing Thread 2017

A place to discuss all things related to current professional road races. Here, you can also touch on the latest news relating to professional road racing. A doping discussion free forum.

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Re: Re:

11 Mar 2017 09:45

RedheadDane wrote:
Jonhard wrote:
GuyIncognito wrote:I was expecting Sierra to do well in Europe, but 2 wins in the first 3 races is more than I expected


Good show, and impressive from Duyck yesterday too. I'm not seeing much info on the race beyond the results.

People looking at this thread may already know, but tomorrow's WWT race in Drenthe is live from 2pm online at RTVDrenthe. :surprised: I guess that's local time in NL.

Most of the big guns are racing and there are cobbled bits and the VAMberg for lols.


Link?


http://www.rtvdrenthe.nl/sport

Dutch only, but I remember it being fairly easy to use last year.

Also a live ticker (will appear) here, if you want to follow the first half...

http://www.rondevandrenthe.nl/programma/dames/women-s-world-tour-ronde-van-drenthe

Edit - it's not really a ticker, just one of those things that shows where the peleton is on the route.

Should be live in 20. Alternative host here http://www.rtvoost.mobi/uitzendinggemist/uitzending.aspx?uid=423774
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11 Mar 2017 15:09

Pretty good day for the Danish ladies. :cool:
What with Dideriksen winning Drenthe and Ludwig - if my calculations are correct - winning the overall in Valencia. She had a 16 seconds buffer to Sierra and finished in the same time as her. (Though Vilmann may have dropped off the podium...)
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11 Mar 2017 15:35

Good effort Amalie to be in the attack that stuck. She was fastest on paper of the four I'd say, but fastest after 150km was not a certainty.

At the time i was thinking Dhoore could have given them in turn in the chase, because ELB was always likely to finish 4th from that group. But I think Wiggle also had an eye on the Wwt leader's jersey, having switched up her schedule to defend it here. She'll keep that, and the next round is Cittiglio which she's won before.
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11 Mar 2017 22:05

Because the unkind and unloving gods scheduled the races to clash with the Holmenkollen 50, I have just been catching up with the race and watching the footage. We got a fairly nice little Classics climax, with a few different compositions of final move until the one that stuck was made. Naturally it was a move containing Elena Cecchini, because she has almost unparalleled instinct for the right moment to make an attack to compose such a group, or to know which attack is the one that she needs to follow. With Boels having 5 riders in the selection of 15 made by the tough part of the course, it was pretty inevitable they'd get somebody in there, and after Pieters had been the one to follow most of the earlier moves it was the World Champion they got into the one that stuck. The group behind always had them in sight but couldn't get them because you had a classic Classics paradox; the strongest engines for pulling the group back don't want to tow the likes of Hosking and d'Hoore to the line, so want them to do the work, but d'Hoore isn't going to do a turn to pull back her teammate, plus with two Boels riders in the group - both of whom have a pretty decent finish, plus with 5 in the 15 have done less work foraging alone than most of the others, plus with the fastest sprinter in the front group are under no obligation to contribute - that created further dead weight in the group. The sprint of the quartet played out as expected as well; the fastest finisher won, after the one without a sprint tried to take them by surprise in to the final corner, then Brand tried a long one to try to capitalise on the longer distance of the race in the hope that the younger Dideriksen would have less in the tank.

The real warning shot, however, was fired by the race's attrition rate. Boels stuck 5 in the final 15, and this without Deignan or Guarnier, their two highest scorers last season. WM3 only had Vos at the business end, and she sits out Drentse 8 tomorrow too, and many teams were down to only a couple of finishers what with the short finishing circuit. Annemiek's little dig at the end is a smart move - without much cooperation in the chasing group and with a number of strong sprinters in it, that was a nice way to secure some good World Tour points, and we know that Annemiek excels in short technical courses with 1000 pieces of road furniture because of her prologue domination. Drops should be super excited by Alice Barnes' performance as well, stronger than her more decorated older sister, although we've known for a while Alice is a real prospect, getting where she did in today's lengthy race with such an attrition rate is quite the day in the saddle. Also, with Anna VDB and Amy Pieters being among those dropped in the group, that 2 of Boels' 3 at the front are just 20 (Dideriksen obviously, and also Jip van den Bos) is a scary thought for their longevity as well. With the race not really suiting the same people as Strade Bianche, the fact that Longo Borghini has good rouleur chops as well helps her retain the WT leaders' jersey - although in fairness the type of rouleur skills she has aren't that transferable to the run-in at Drenthe, more the cobbles and short hills bit...

Happy to see the semi-return of the Semana Ciclista Valenciana (really a Media Semana Ciclista Valenciana of course) and also quite pleased with the results. Obviously a TTT in a short race with a mixed field between the pro teams and the lower level national and international péloton has the potential to skew things but it was pleasingly short, favouring sprint and short distance specialists and preventing the stacked lineups of teams like Wiggle from running away with things. The biggest shame, really, is that the Spanish homegrown péloton doesn't really have the strength to compete here, and the strongest Spanish women's rider this season so far has been Sheyla Gutiérrez who was racing in Drenthe. BePink won the TTT, giving veteran Silvia Valsecchi the first race lead, but they only just squeaked past the Cervélo-Bigla team, who had their hilly arm in Spain now that they've expanded the team to give themselves the option of two races at once (last year running with just 9 riders, this was not possible of course).

The second stage, around Gandia, was the most decisive one, a hilly trip of 101km that was won in a break of two by Belgian time trial specialist Ann-Sophie Duyck for the British Drops team, another team that has upgraded itself for 2017 taking on more athletes and looking very competitive in the early season. It seemed like a mutually beneficial agreement with Cervélo's Danish puncheuse Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, another promising young talent who caught a lot of eyes last season with her late season performances, and she took the race lead as a result, ahead of a splintered group of 20 which was led home in the sprint by Marta Bastianelli, although the group mainly contained most of the strongest riders for hilly terrain in the race - Lichtenberg, Moolman-Pasio, Ritter, Leleivyte, along with versatile sprint types like Bronzini. Nobody from the BePink team made the selection so they tumbled down the standings leaving the Cervélo girls locking out the podium. It was at this point I realised that Svetlana Kuznetsova is Svetlana Vasilieva under a married name, and therefore she doesn't have a team for 2017 and this is bizarre to me.

Stage 3 was a short and fast blast around Alicante, which went to a sprint although the group was trimmed down to around 60. Arlenis Sierra, the Cuban who won more than anybody else last year, although much of it in Latin American and "pop-up" races, imposed herself on the sprint, for her first pro win with Astana (she won a national calendar race last week, outsprinting Bastianelli) ahead of Bronzini and Katie Archibald for the WNT team. Having won the Tour de Brétagne last year, she's shown a better propensity for adapting to the European péloton than most who come across from the minor calendars in Latin America already.

Finally, on today's stage, the last day of the race, WNT capped off a pretty successful short excursion to Spain with a stage win from Irish national champion Lydia Boylan, who just held off a charging péloton by three seconds. I believe it's her first UCI win other than her nationals. Also, Kelly Druyts surprised us all by finishing ahead of all the big guns in the sprint, with Archibald (who turns 23 tomorrow) popping up for 3rd ahead of the two ex-World Champions, Bronzini and Bastianelli. Cecilie was safely tucked inside the péloton with her Cervélo teammates alert to any and all moves, to enable her to win her second pro stage race after the Tour de Féminin Krasná Lipá last year. The time bonuses meant it wasn't a lockout for the team, however, as Sierra managed to squeeze her way into the middle of the Cervélo party, while Duyck will be ruing not taking that extra second or two from the chasing bunch in the Gandia stage, as this could have put her on the podium, as it was she had to settle for 5th. The top ranked Spanish rider is Eider Merino, the 22-year-old Basque for Lointek finishing 21st.

1 Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervélo-Bigla) DEN 7'08'41
2 Arlenis Sierra Cañadilla (Astana) CUB +11"
3 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo-Bigla) RSA +20"
4 Marie Schousbø Vilmann (Cervélo-Bigla) DEN +20"
5 Ann-Sophie Duyck (Drops Cycling) BEL +21"
6 Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-High 5) ITA +27"
7 Lara Vieceli (Astana) ITA +29"
8 Claudia Lichtenberg (Wiggle-High 5) GER +33"
9 Marta Bastianelli (Alé-Cipollini) ITA +42"
10 Kelly van den Steen (Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx) BEL +44"
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12 Mar 2017 20:20

It was at this point I realised that Svetlana Kuznetsova is Svetlana Vasilieva under a married name, and therefore she doesn't have a team for 2017 and this is bizarre to me.


Sure it's not the tennis player? :p

But, yeah. If it's the fact that she changed her name that's the reason she doesn't have a team that is bizarre. After all, Elizabeth Deignan (Armitstead) and Nikki Brammeier (Harris) still have teams despite changing their names...
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13 Mar 2017 00:42

No, it's more that I thought Vasilieva justified a contract, but because she'd changed her name when I saw her on startlists I hadn't realized Kuznetsova was her. I simply found it bizarre that nobody had offered her a contract, or that if she had been offered one she'd turned it down.

Anyway, following the Ronde van Drenthe we have the smaller Drentse 8 van Westerveld, which uses much of the same area and two climbs of the VAM-Berg over a slightly shorter route than the more illustrious neighbour. Local TV had a short summary which was posted by prominent women's cycling source and magpie Sarah Connolly.

The race featured much of the same péloton as the WWT race, obviously, though a couple of key names such as Vos were missing. Although a bit more suited to the bunch than the Ronde van Drenthe, the group did splinter and come back several times and attrition paid for many, which allowed opportunities for key breakaways. The most important came with around 4km to go when the bunch somehow allowed Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen, two of the toughest time trial engines out there, to escape together, but they eventually pulled them back and the reduced péloton fought out the sprint.

In said sprint, Chloe Hosking was the clear class of the bunch, opening up a very significant gap which serves as an imposing warning to the other sprinters in the women's bunch that she means business - Lotte Kopecky managed to squeeze ahead of Dideriksen for 2nd, but yesterday's winner managed to get the rainbow jersey on to the podium for a second time in the weekend.
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15 Mar 2017 13:14

Just out of curiosity.
After RvD Amalie Dideriksen claimed the Best Young Rider's jersey in the overall WT. So, what jersey will she be riding in? Surely the rainbow jersey counts higher...?
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15 Mar 2017 14:06

Hear that Orica has a bit of extra money for their 2018 squad - They lack a sprinter - Would Diedricksen be an option ?
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15 Mar 2017 15:05

As far as I can see she has contract with Boels for 2018 as well.
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Re:

15 Mar 2017 16:24

RedheadDane wrote:As far as I can see she has contract with Boels for 2018 as well.


Fair enough - Will see what Orica comes up with 2018 - They do need a sprinter.
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16 Mar 2017 23:16

Sarah Roy is a decent enough sprinter, and the fact the team is, apart from Annemiek, all-Aussie may limit some of their selection aims. Obviously in that context, the bonanza signing would be Chloe Hosking. From people not currently established, maybe they hope for something from Lauretta Hanson or Shannon Malseed, both of whom are 22-23 and did well on the BeneLux crit circuit last year.

Excitingly, if you go here on Sunday you will be able to watch the Trofeo Alfredo Binda - GP Cittiglio live. This is one of the more hilly/climber-friendly races in the World Cup, featuring one long circuit around the Varese area before four loops of a circuit around the mythical Binda's hometown including a 3km " 7% climb called Orino.

The lineup will be strong and we'll get to see defending champion Lizzie Deignan go for her third win in a row, making hay while the sun shone with Vos absent or out of form and Pooley retiring, after the two duelled over the race crown for several years. However we won't have a chance to see the other two athletes from last year's podium; Boels did a 1-2 last year after the chase was caught on the line, but Megan Guarnier is still absent as the team tries to juggle all of its stars and will not be on the startlist, while having ceased riding for Servetto and focusing on mountain bike means that there will be no Jolanda Neff either unless she rides as a guest for her old team, which is a shame as she's added plenty to the race the last few years. The Boels team therefore looks like a two-headed beast, with Deignan and van der Breggen the two major threats, and the opposition will have to make it brutally hard to drop Deignan, and if they do they've still got Anna to contend with. Majerus and Canuel give them some strong race controlling legs while Blaaki and Pieters will offer up options for counterattacks and to try to force other teams to go hard in the hills and produce a race favourable to Boels' hilly riders.

They're far from the only team with a strong lineup though. Canyon look formidable, though a lot will depend on how PFP's form is as she returns to the road after a disaster-ridden 2016 season. Opposition will have to really go hard to drop Amialiusik, while the team has very solid sprinting options in Barnes and, in a more selective race, Cromwell, and Elena Cecchini on home roads will be very dangerous owing to her incredible racing brain. Cervélo-Bigla have probably the strongest pure sprinter announced, in Lotta Lepistö, while if the racing is punchy they have the in-form Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, and if it's really hard they have Ash Moolman-Pasio. While for Cylance the race is a bit too tough for Gutiérrez, they'll be reliant a bit more on their Italian contingent, hopefully this is the year Ratto gets it together. For Orica, their most likely threat is Annemiek, but the course suits Amanda Spratt well too and she had her best year to date last year. Also they have Katrin Garfoot who's one of the top CQ scorers to date but then, given the high percentage of her points coming from the Aussie calendar, it's hard to quantify what her form will be like. Among the Sunweb lineup, VeloNews have for some reason decided that Ellen van Dijk is the main threat, which will probably be news for the TT powerhouse on one of the hilliest courses of the year (she laughed at holding a QOM jersey last year because "this can only happen in the Netherlands". A more pragmatic choice to ride for would be Leah Kirchmann, who possesses a very strong kick in a sprint finish and was 8th overall in the Giro in her breakout year last year. They also have former junior sensation Juliette Labous, another sprint option in Coryn Rivera and a sentimental pick for one to watch, Sabrina Stultiens, who is a very good rider for this type of parcours but has been on the long-term injury list for some time. Wiggle have the reduced sprinter par excellence, Giorgia Bronzini, but they also make use of their hydra-headed onslaught on climbing races, with two of the pélotons best climbers, who double up as two of the péloton's worst sprinters, Elisa Longo Borghini (who is great at climbing and terrible at sprinting) and Claudia Lichtenberg (who is even better at climbing and even worse at sprinting). Elisa will be looking to defend the WT leaders' jersey and is probably the better shout for the win given her all-round skills and abilities on the flat for opportunism, but again Claudia is a sentimental pick because I'm a huge cheerleader for her. And finally, WM3 have at least two valid options for the victory in Marianne Vos and Kasia Niewiadoma, but the latter needs a really hard race to be able to get away given her lack of a sprint weapon which has all too often cost her in the recent future, having to do a lot more of the work to pull groups back or get away from the group she's in due to not having a chance if it goes to the line and then losing the sprint from them. They also have Lauren Kitchen who has the capability to make an impact in both styles on this kind of parcours, and Anna Plichta who can prove a tactical star to set up her personal friend Kasia as we've seen from the Polish national team over the last couple of years.

Among the smaller teams also some intrigue. Not least from the Lares-Waowdeals team, whose signing of Thalita de Jong opened a few eyes in the off-season. Though the final climb isn't as long nor the run-in quite as long, this finish is reminiscent of the final day of the Giro last season, which was just the other side of Lake Maggiore, which Thalita won, while the team also has some useful backup in veteran Brazilian journeywoman Flavia Oliveira (a former Giro QOM) and Alice Cobb, the 21-year-old Briton having been very promising in the Tour de l'Ardêche last season. Lensworld also have a couple of threats in Tatiana Guderzo, who won the not dissimilar Mendrisio World Championships course eight years ago, the Ukrainian climber Tetyana Riabchenko and the versatile Maria Giulia Confalonieri. Rasa Leleivyte is there for Aromitalia and likes this kind of parcours, or at least she does since her suspension ended (she was more of a sprinter who then learnt to climb before her positive test); her history makes her an outsider given that she seems persona non grata among the big teams, but she regularly crops up in the top 10-15 of races like this, especially in Italy, and she has a very good finishing kick on her owing to her past life as a sprinter.

Most of the national péloton haven't finalized squads though. Astana have confirmed Arlenis Sierra will be capitalizing on her current form, while Alé have only confirmed Janneke Ensing but have plenty of choice for people who can make an impact, most likely Daiva Tuslaite, Carlee Taylor and Soraya Paladin in this type of route. BePink could feasibly make a real impact with Zabelinskaya but I'd be more excited to see Tuhai, the 21-year-old Belarusian grimpeuse who made the top 10 of the Giro. Hard to believe BTC won't have Stricker, Bujak and Bagatelj on hand.
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17 Mar 2017 21:37

One of Alé's better riders for hilly and mountainous terrain is unfortunately not going to be at their disposal for the Trofeo Binda, or in fact probably anywhere for the foreseeable future, as their Basque rider Ane Santesteban has been found unconscious in a pool of blood on the road by a couple driving near Errenteria. Police are treating it as hit-and-run, as her bike had apparently been collected and removed from the road showing evidence of what appeared to be vehicular impact, but the rider was left face down and unconscious in the road.
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17 Mar 2017 22:13

Jesus. That's incredibly grim.
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17 Mar 2017 22:15

She's alive and talking. It's not life threatening. She's already giving interviews.
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17 Mar 2017 23:55

I hope they catch the scumbag who left her for dead.
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18 Mar 2017 10:55

Yeah!
Glad she's - relatively - okay.
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Re: The Women's Road Racing Thread 2017

18 Mar 2017 11:24

Last Wednesday Het Nieuwsblad informed about the new Tour of Belgium route but it was pretty concise:

Image

Prologue in Nieuwpoort on 5 September and then to Ninove, to Herselt and then the final stage on the remparts of the Kapelmuur just like previous years. I hope there's more to find on the net.
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19 Mar 2017 17:43

Interesting podium at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda!

Rivera apparently wasn't joking around when she said she wanted to be a hilly classics rider rather than the Queen of the US crits.

Sierra seems to be the best out of left field signing any European team has made in years.

Uttrup Ludwig seems like a big talent.
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19 Mar 2017 22:02

One thing about Coryn is that she's quite small and light for a sprinter, so I guess she was thinking that if she wanted to make it in Europe she would need to move towards getting over a few hills and obstacles and follow the same kind of path as Leah Kirchmann than trying to mix it up with the more powerful rouleur types.

Now, the group contesting the win with the chase on in Binda has varied in size over the years, there being around 25 here is larger than anticipated, but then there was also no Jolanda Neff to go mad on the last climb and it seems those climbers who were able to put the pressure on weren't on strong enough form to make it stick. The group contesting the win is perhaps most notable for those that missed it - the first real shock is only one Boels rider in the group, the second is that it was Chantal Blaak - nothing against Chantal, but she isn't the most climbing-adept on that Boels squad and after they would have three or four in most selections of that size last year, for her to be left alone like that is unexpected. Niewiadoma was also foraging alone after Vos missed the move, with the added problem that she obviously stood no chance in a sprint. Wiggle were going well as Longo Borghini continues her strong season start, while Cervélo had both their young Danes in the break as well as their most established star in Moolman-Pasio.

To tell the truth as last year wore on, I was starting to think that Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig was overtaking Dideriksen in the "young Danish prospect" stakes, having had an excellent second half of the season and come to real prominence in hilly races. Although Amalie has clearly wrestled that crown back by virtue of, oh, I don't know, winning some colorful jersey or another, Cecilie's still got plenty of chops, and Vilmann was signed along with her because Cervélo loved the way the two worked with tactical and personal chemistry in much the same way as Anna Plichta has got her WM3 contract because of how well she works with, and for, Niewiadoma. And Sierra is hitting the ground running in Europe for sure. She's durable and she has a fast finish - definitely a dangerous threat for the near future and, given they lost half of their Latin American contingent in Ingrid Drexel, a very shrewd pickup from Astana.

Surprised at Deignan missing the group more than anybody else, as though she's not had much racing she was very strong at Strade Bianche and last year she was sparing herself a lot of race days and then alternating "not racing" with "annihilating everybody". Vos still isn't quite back to her best although I would still have thought she'd make the selection, while PFP is slowly getting closer to where she should be with her new team. Not surprised at Lichtenberg being dropped, once ELB and Cordon-Ragot had made the move she was almost surplus to requirements, and her season's goals don't come for a while yet.
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20 Mar 2017 01:44

Just saw the finale of the race and that was some powerful sprint from Rivera, all out from far! I don't know why Sierra celebrated in the end, the difference to Rivera was enough to make sure that the north-american had won, even from the perspective of two riders battling for the win. Maybe she was just happy for a 2nd place on a WWT race.
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