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Women's Tour 2022 - 8 riders to watch during the six-day 2022 Women's Tour
Well, to be fair, it's unusual to have as fast a finisher as Bastianelli there at that point. Can't fault Cille for thinking that, knowing Vos was dispensed with, there was nobody that could threaten her in a sprint at that point. Marta just had the race of her comeback from a climbing/durability pov.tobydawq said:Lol, Cecilie Uttrup seemed to think it was impossible to be passed in the final part. It normally is, but if you sit up, it's not...
More likely we will have to see if hanging around with the woman of steel for ten days means the men have HTFUed.yaco said:I am interested that AVV completed a ten day camp with the MS men's team. I wonder if this has helped her performance - Time will tell.
I don't agree. It's a pretty basic concept that you ride to the line unless you are sure that nobody is coming from behind. Luckily it wasn't a podium placed she lost because of that.Libertine Seguros said:Well, to be fair, it's unusual to have as fast a finisher as Bastianelli there at that point. Can't fault Cille for thinking that, knowing Vos was dispensed with, there was nobody that could threaten her in a sprint at that point. Marta just had the race of her comeback from a climbing/durability pov.tobydawq said:Lol, Cecilie Uttrup seemed to think it was impossible to be passed in the final part. It normally is, but if you sit up, it's not...
Libertine Seguros said:Ronde van Vlaanderen startlist
Looks good - still around a 25-30km gap between the Muur and the next challenges, but with Kanarienberg and Taaienberg before Kruisberg, that's the section that has frequently created the significant selections in recent years.
No van der Breggen as she's still out, but nevertheless the Boels sextet looks to be the one to beat - Blaaki was on the podium here in 2016 and 2017, and has won Gent-Wevelgem and Amstel Gold, so she knows all she needs to know about this type of course. Jolien d'Hoore has been 2nd before and will be motivated on home soil, but I'd anticipate she'll make some but not all selections. Dideriksen is a former Drenthe winner so she's happy with cobbles, Majerus is more than at home on rough surfaces, as a pre-eminent 'crosser of course, Amy Pieters was 2nd last year, and looked strong enough to have made her own move had van der Breggen been brought back; and Jip van den Bos may be likely to be on domestique duty tomorrow but has been busy breaking out this season herself, podiuming Omloop and winning Le Samyn.
They won't have it all their own way. Annemiek, Woman Of Titanium, leads her Mitchelton-Scott team into battle once more, with their two main climbing leaders, Annemiek and Amanda Spratt, complemented by high quality classics rouleurs Sarah Roy and Gracie Elvin. CCC-Liv are led by Eddy Merckx of course, who has had a pretty successful early season and though she's not been as strong in the flatter Low Countries races as she has been in the hilly Italian races, nevertheless woe betide anybody writing her off. She also has Moolman-Pasio as a teammate, who managed a career-high 4th in this race last year. Trek have a strong team, albeit with no Deignan they are unfortunately only able to field two former winners of the race, since they also have Ellen van Dijk and Elisa Longo Borghini. The hitherto pretty popular Longo Borghini copped a bit of social media flak for throwing Lizzie Banks' bike away like a piece of trash - and in the opposite direction to where Banks actually was - at de Panne, so she's a bit fired up, and she went well at Dwars in the week, so she's worth keeping an eye on. The team also has Lotta Lepistö to act as a deterrent to other teams not racing aggressively, because she's capable of getting over an obstacle or two (10 might be too much, mind). And with Winder, Worrack and Cordon-Ragot, they sure aren't short of firepower to help keep the pace high either.
Sunweb are also able to field a previous winner, 2017 victor Coryn Rivera. The American had a bit of a low key start to last season but eventually managed to recapture her form from before - however I would anticipate that that kind of group finish was a bit of a one-off in de Ronde and don't see her winning solo or two-up - so she'll need a small group that she can latch onto. Lucinda Brand is probably a better bet for the team, so long as this isn't the year that Floortje hits the ground running (she's unfortunately hit the ground literally and got hurt a couple of times when she's been threatening to do that in the past). Lippert and Labous are starting to usurp her role as future phenom in the team. Canyon are a bit like Mitchelton, blending their specialist climbing side - Amialiusik, Niewiadoma - with their rouleur side - Klein, Ryan - and with Cromwell and Cecchini capable over all terrains but probably needing a bit of luck to actually win here. WNT, perhaps the most-improved team of the year with their purchases out of others' yard sales, will probably need a bit of luck; thus far they've benefited greatly from 36-year-old Kirsten Wild's Indian summer, however this is a much tougher race to get to the end in contention in for her than de Panne (which is pan-flat and suits an echelon specialist like her) or Gent-Wevelgem; yes, she has been on the podium of de Ronde before, but her two podiums are around a decade ago now (2009 and 2010); of the top 10 back in 2010, six (Verbeke, Johansson, Visser, Cantele, Arndt and Bruins) have retired (Verbeke twice in fact), although she isn't the oldest of the remainder (she's seven days younger than van Vleuten, however let's be honest - van Vleuten's results over the last decade at de Ronde make her a much more obvious threat to win than Kirsten is at this point). Virtu have another past star-cum-current-star, as Marta Bastianelli has started the season in spectacular form, and has yet to finish a race outside the top 10 this year; even if they aren't in the fight for the actual victory, if they can be reasonably durable the battle between Wild and Bastianelli will still be interesting as Kirsten is just 10 points off the WWT leader's jersey that Marta is currently wearing. She wasn't at the two editions Wild podiumed as this was during her suspension for appetite suppressants; she's had a storied career since, including having facial reconstructive surgery after a crash, a baby break, completely reinventing herself as a sprinter, and now returning to the more all-round skillset she initially emerged with, performing far above expectations at races like Strade Bianche - and she's still only 31. I'll be interested to see how she goes here, as her 13th here last season was her best result at Vlaanderen since her 8th place in 2008, while wearing the rainbow stripes she later said she regretted winning. Oh yes, and they also have the best U23 of last season, Sofia Bertizzolo - who will be out to win that jersey back, having lost it last week thanks to Lorena Wiebes' two second place finishes in the sprints at de Panne and Wevelgem. Parkhotel are managing the workload for Wiebes considering she's still just turned 20, so there is the prospect of some free points to get the U23 jersey back for Bertizzolo if she goes well. FDJ's team is pretty interesting with some useful riders for this kind of terrain; Gillow is a capable enough climber while Fahlin has had some strong results in bumpy terrain, albeit de Ronde has historically been a bit outside of her remit. And of course, Bigla have Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, a woman who really splits opinions - between those who love her, and those who haven't yet seen her race or heard her interviewed, because those who have seen her race and heard her interviewed tend to be in the first group.
Elsewhere, there are some potential secondary contenders, but few bonanza options. Most immediately obvious, you'd say, is Rasa Leleivyte for Aromitalia; the Lithuanian national champion has made something of a habit of strong placements in the hillier races, and though she crashed out of last year's race she finished lower end top 10 the year before. Alé have strong names but I'm not convinced this race is for them - it's neither flat enough for Hosking nor climby enough for Paladin - and Movistar have a similar problem with Fournier, however Sheyla Gutiérrez did win Le Samyn a couple of years ago; she was top 20 here a couple of years ago with Cylance, and like any Spanish rouleur or rouleuse she can get over a few obstacles - she's been top 10 of the Giro dell'Emilia with the San Luca HTF - but I think that asking her to compete against the numbers of the superteams is too tough an ask. Similarly, a BTC team missing Bujak will struggle to be as visible here especially with Pavlukhina, a pretty tough all-terrain fighter, provisionally suspended; their best rider remaining is Chursina (née Iakovenko), who was 4th at Trofeo Binda, but who prefers her hills to be less cobbled; Hanna Nilsson is more of an outright climber. For Lotto Soudal, Lotte Kopecky is their main aim, I would hypothesise; she has been top 5 in the Ronde before, albeit in that reduced sprint field in 2017.
Yes, I am following her on Instagram nowRedheadDane said:Check social media. Quite a lot of people declaring Cille's interview the "best ever".
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