The Women's Road Racing Thread 2021

Page 17 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Re:

Broccolidwarf said:
Anyone know where I can watch the female version of Strade Bianche on Saturday?

Just read Annika Langvad, quadruple MTB world champion, is making her professional debut - at the tender age of 34.

She rode her first road race in a long time, at last years world championships, because Denmark was short on climbers, and ended up 37th, despite not having trained for 2 weeks leading up the the race, due to injury..... so Boels-Dolmans signed her and Strade Bianche is her debut.

I really want to watch her attack the italian gravel :)
So close, but what a race...... her last road race was worlds, and now she takes 2nd at Strade Blanche in her professional debut :eek:
 
Re:

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...
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.
 
Re: Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
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...
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.
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.
 
We also neglected to mention the Ronde van Drenthe, which Marta Bastianelli won in style. The Trofeo Binda result is an intriguing mix of veteran smarts and youthful exuberance, as Amanda Spratt is having a very fine few years at the moment, but she was no match in a sprint to the line with Eddy Merckx (not that there's any disgrace in that). A podium again for Cille, she's showing few signs thus far of the team's loss of Ash and Lepistö affecting her now that she's the unquestioned leader, but it may impact in the long run, a bit like when Niewiadoma was carrying WM3. Also very pleased to see a great result for Chursina (previously Iakovenko, the most promising of the young Russians, clearly she's got married in the off-season). It seems as the péloton grows stronger, however, and professionalism increases, this race is getting less selective with time, as it used to be one of the real climber's playthings, obviously Vos has won it many times in her Marianne The Destructor era, but Rivera won it a couple of years ago, and this year we do see plenty of the specialist climbers peppering the upper end of the results sheet - Spratt 2nd, Ludwig 3rd, Niewiadoma 6th, Paladin 9th, Magnaldi 10th, Moolman-Pasio 12th, Santesteban 18th, Nilsson 19th - but the finish was effectively a reduced group finish (other specialist climbers like García, Merino and Longo Borghini were also in the group but irrelevances in the sprint).

It must be a long time since we had a World Tour race without a single Boels-Dolmans rider in the top 10, though... (edit: actually it's not very long, it's last year's Tour of Guangxi, because Boels didn't even enter. But other than that, in races they've actually entered it may even be an impossibility)
 
Sep 17, 2015
2
0
3,510
I think Zoe Backstedt turned 14 last October. I've been watching her progress since seeing her at Derby Arena spring 2018. When she won the Youth U16s Omnium there in October, she tweeted that it was her last track race as a U14 . She was super strong and really stands out. She's also had lots of cyclocross wins over the winter in the UK and Belgium including winning the UK U16s National Trophy series and National Championships. Definitely one to watch.
 
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.
 
Rochelle Gilmore's commentary is very, very one-eyed. Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi. She's very upset that Chloe Hosking isn't a protected rider, and thinks van Vleuten should be subordinating her aims to Spratt's.

Boels have had a fair bit of bad luck thus far, Blaaki having a mechanical before the Muur and Jip van den Bos out of the race in a bad-looking crash. We've had quite a few crashes in fairness, Rivera has been taken out, Gutiérrez and others. Plus some others with badly-timed mechanicals including Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. Thus far it's really been a trimming-down procedure, the likes of Wild and Bastianelli are still in the bunch and that lengthy phase between Kapelmuur and the rest of the climbs has, as usual, served to unfortunately neutralize any gaps created on it.
 
I got 502ed during the race's decisive moments!

It had to be said, once Marta launched her attack on the Kwaremont, it seemed unlikely she would lose the race. She showed in Strade Bianche that she's climbing much better this season, and we know she's powerful and can sprint, so that show of strength was quite awe-inspiring. I had a brief moment of super-marking-out after that when you had Kasia attacking and Cille being first to go with it, but sadly that was not to be as that would have been phenomenal. Very poor luck for Marianne Vos, but I think that might have been why the group was able to stay away as I don't think Cille would have contributed if she didn't get a podium out of it, and Vos and Bastianelli both being there would probably have prevented van Vleuten committing to the move too. That is, assuming Marianne didn't get dropped on the Paterberg, as Niewiadoma got dropped there with Ludwig and van Vleuten looking strongest. But once they couldn't dispatch Marta, it seemed to be done.

After all, in that front trio there was a clear hierarchy of who looked strongest, and it also matched up to the clear hierarchy of who is the best sprinter in the group - therefore Annemiek tried to get away a couple of times but Marta was simply stronger on the day, while Cille was clearly struggling to keep the wheels a few times but keen to contribute to ensure the podium, because the chasing group had a more cohesive goal - three of the four wanted them to catch the lead trio, so van Dijk, Blaak and Niewiadoma were happy to work together. Obviously Sofia Bertizzolo wasn't going to contribute, because she had a double benefit - she was the only one with a teammate up front, and it was also almost certain that Marta would win from the front group if they didn't fall apart, and if they did catch them then of course Sofia would go solo in a heartbeat, having rested in the chase. At one point it looked like they were going to get there comfortably, then Annemiek and Cille decided to up their contributions to ensure their podiums at least, and it stabilized, and it was only around 1500m to go, when the trio started to play games and the others tried to make Marta lead out, that the gap reduced to such a point as it felt like a catch was possible. Annemiek tried to sprint away at around 500m to go and take Marta by surprise, but while an admirable attempt, it only served to reverse the positions as they had been making Marta lead out, and instead she could pick her moment to unleash the sprint and make it count.

Pretty cool though that we had six different teams in the top seven, and surprisingly it was only Virtu that had more than one rider up front - it made it a much more mano a mano battle than we often see with the concentration of top stars into a small number of superteams.
 
Re:

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.


Well said :D
 
Re:

RedheadDane said:
Check social media. Quite a lot of people declaring Cille's interview the "best ever". :D
Yes, I am following her on Instagram now :)

There are about ten great parts of the interview! What is the best bit? I will say it is when she is discussing how much she loves the crowd cheering on the climb, and that they are all "cheering for me" :razz:
 
Cille's really likeable and quite smart. Understands the zeitgeist very well and has the nature in concord with it, which proves the number and profile of her followers on this board. Such a fan base must be motivating.
Whole women's peloton is in gain with her.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY