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Ronde van Drenthe - CDM
Netherlands, April 12, 2008
Chantal Belts one out in Drenthe
High Road takes second World Cup in succession; De Goede holds lead
By Ben Atkins in Hoogeveen
Team High Road's breakaway specialist Chantal Beltman has taken a magnificent solo victory in the Ronde van Drenthe World Cup race. She broke away with Sarah Düster (Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team) and last year's second place finisher Elodie Touffet (Gauss RDZ Ormu) at the end of the final cobbled sector with 70 kilometres still to race, and stayed away when those two faded in the final kilometres. She took a comfortable victory, six seconds ahead of what remained of the peloton, which was led home by former World Champion Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) and High Road team-mate Ina Teutenberg, who was visibly celebrating Beltman's victory.
As in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen last weekend, the race was dominated from the start by the High Road and Cervelo Lifeforce teams. They put pressure on at the first cobbled section after 38 kilometres, which had the affect of splitting the peloton and putting several favourites into difficulty. It was at this point that current World Cup leader Suzanne De Goede (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung) punctured and her whole team was forced to work to bring her back to the front. This cost the team dear and she spent most of the rest of the race on her own.
It was another supreme display of team riding from both the High Road and Cervelo Lifeforce teams: both placing a rider in the break, allowing the rest of their riders to relax in the peloton and block the chase of other teams. As happened in Vlaanderen last week, it was High Road that managed to turn that dominance into victory. With a breakaway specialist off the front, and a sprinter waiting in the rear, they had an ideal situation in the closing kilometres.
"It's another victory for the team I think," said Beltman after the race, "because I just could go because I knew they were just so close after me, and all were still there. So I could go, and if they caught me I knew Ina [Teutenberg] could be ready for the sprint."
Beltman's victory was made all the sweeter by the fact it was in her home nation, in front of so many of her compatriots. "That's so cool," said the 31 year-old Dutchwoman, "so many people, so many fans along the road. It was extra motivation for me, yeah, that was good."
The three riders had worked very well together, right up to the final climb of the VAM-berg, but just a few kilometres further on, Beltman realised that the time had come to go it alone. "They got weaker and they couldn't push anymore and I thought I can't wait any longer;" she told Cyclingnews, "we have to go full on, and so I gave it all and I was away on my own. I didn't think anymore and I just [was like] 'go go go'."
Despite only holding a dozen or so seconds over the chasing bunch behind, she held no fear of being caught and the team behind her spurred her further: "No, [I was not worried]", she continued, "because we had Ina for the sprint ready and all the girls were still there, so they all shouted to me [over the radio] 'Go go go!' and I thought, 'Yeah, I go.'"
Marianne Vos put her whole team to work in the middle part of the race, but they were just unable to bring back Beltman. "I think High Road did a good job from the first cobblestones, with six in the lead," she told Cyclingnews, "and we had some problems in the back." In the end though, those efforts proved to be too much for the team and they didn't have the power in the closing stages to finally reel in the lone leader. "I think 30 or 40 kilometres before the end, the bunch came back and we did a lot of work and reduced [the gap from] 2'30 to 30 seconds," she continued, "but it was too short to the finish and we had put a lot of power in the chase and we had not enough for the last few kilometres.
"Second is not really good," she said of her defeat of Beltman's team-mate Ina Teutenberg in the sprint, "but I won the sprint from the bunch and it does give me a lot of confidence for another sprint."
Teutenberg was also philosophical about her battle with Vos in the finishing straight. "I'm disappointed not to beat her," she said, "but I was in third wheel on the last corner ... we were sprinting for second place, not for the win. If we were sprinting for the win and I'd come second, I'd be really p_____d off, but it wasn't, so it was okay."
The High Road sprinter was much more upbeat about the overall team performance though, especially the way they had taken the initiative so early. "Yeah," she went on, "we decided we wanted to put some pressure on over the cobbled sections, and luckily for us Cervelo had the same idea. Luckily, Chantal was the one who could last in the break because we could just sit in the bunch and relax."
"Absolutely," concurred Beltman and Teutenberg's High Road team-mate Oenone Wood to Cyclingnews, "cobbles always split the bunch, and we came out on the other end of the cobbles with four [we counted five] in a small group of maybe fifteen riders. I think we were in control the whole race today."
The High Road team managed some supreme spoiling tactics in the later stages of the race, all of it to ensure their team-mate's victory. "It was pretty touch and go on those narrow roads," said Wood, "and yeah, we wanted Chantal to win!"
Suzanne De Goede didn't have the luckiest day, but still managed to collect fourth place and more points towards her lead in the World Cup standings. "Well, the problem was: I got a flat tyre in tenth position on the first cobbles," she explained to Cyclingnews on the way to the podium, "and one of my team-mates gave me a wheel and worked so hard today to get me back in the bunch. I think I was in group five or something – really far away – they all worked really hard to get me to the front. So this was a great result for the whole team, and good to keep the jersey still.
"So, a good result for bad luck on the first cobbles, and a really good team result I think."
The next round of the World Cup will be Flèche Wallone on April 23.
How it unfolded
140 riders took the start under sunny, almost cloudless skies in Hoogeveen, northeast Netherlands. A cold south-westerly wind meant that most riders wore arm warmers and vests, many also wore full legwarmers.
The first 38 kilometres were ridden at a reasonable pace with the only riders leaving the peloton being those dropping off the back in the strong headwind. A crash just after the first ascent of the VAM-berg contributed to this and also caused Miek Vynke (Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies Team) to abandon. She was taken to hospital and it was later announced that she had broken her shoulder.
On the first section of cobbles the High Road team, aided by Cervelo Lifeforce, upped the pace and split the peloton. Suzanne De Goede was well positioned in tenth at this point but punctured and had to use her entire team to regain the front.
After the first cobbled sector the front group was made up of Judith Arndt, Chantal Beltman, Ina Teutenberg, Linda Villumsen Serup and Oenone Wood (all High Road), Angela Brodtka and Marianne Vos (both DSB Bank), Noemi Cantele (Bigla), Kristin Armstrong, Sarah Düster, Emma Rickards, Christaine Soeder and Priska Doppmann (all Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team), Amber Neben (Flexpoint), Kirsten Wild and Irene Van Den Broek (boh AA-Drink), Elodie Touffet and Grete Treier (both Gaus RDZ Ormu), Liesbeth De Vocht, An Van Rie and Silvia Parietti (all Vrienden Van Het Platteland) and Grace Verbeke (Lotto-Belisol) with the rest of the peloton 1'45 behind them.
Noticably missing from the front at this point was the Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung of De Goede.
At the end of the final cobbled sector, with still more than 70 kilometres remaining, Beltman attacked with Düster and Touffet and the three of them worked well together to quickly build a lead of more than three minutes.
Approaching the second climb of the VAM-berg, the Beltman-Düster-Touffet trio still held a gap of 2'30 over a field that was beginning to come back together. As the peloton took the top of the climb it reformed, leaving just the three up front.
As the three breakaways passed the finish line for the penultimate time with 32 kilometres remaining, they still held a lead of two minutes over a bunch with Vos' DSB Bank and Wild's AA-Drink teams working hard to bring them back.
As Team Flexpoint began to mass at the front for the benefit of Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel, the gap reduced to just over a minute. Team Bigla sent Kazakh champion Zoufila Zabirova to the front to work for Cantele, but at that point the High Road and Cervelo Lifeforce teams moved forward to block the chase's progress.
The DSB Bank and Flexpoint teams were next to add their efforts to the chase, but approaching the VAM-berg for the final time the gap had only reduced to fifty seconds, due in part to the spoiling tactics of High Road's Arndt and Teutenberg.
The Flexpoint team put all their forces to the front and managed to reduce the gap to a mere 19 seconds. The High Road and Cervelo Lifeforce teams continued their spoiling tactics and so when Amber Neben found herself on the front with no one willing to come past, she accelerated away and tried to catch the three riders alone.
Cantele was having none of this though, and she attacked to bridge up to Neben, but it was to come to nothing, as Emma Rickards pulled her Cervelo Lifeforce team and the bunch up to the Italian's wheel.
With around five kilometres remaining, Beltman attacked her companions and neither Düster nor Touffet could do anything to respond and she quickly pulled out a lead of eight seconds.
Düster and Touffet faded rapidly and they were swallowed up by the charging peloton just before the final-kilometre banner.
There was no catching Beltman though, and the Dutchwoman crossed the finish line alone. Six seconds later Marianne Vos took the bunch sprint from Ina Teutenberg, who was sitting up celebrating her team-mate's victory. Suzanne De Goede took fourth place to consolidate her lead in the World Cup competition, and Australian Rochelle Gilmore (Menikini-Selle Italia) took fifth.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net
Images by DCP/Bert Geerts
Images by Ben Atkins/Cyclingnews.com
1 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Team High Road Women 3.32.01 (38.770 km/h) 2 Marianne Vos (Ned) Team DSB Bank 0.06 3 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Team High Road Women 4 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 5 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Menikini - Selle Italia 6 Alex Wrubleski (Can) Canada 7 Liesbeth De Vocht (Bel) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 8 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Aa-Drink Cycling Team 9 Julia Martisova (Rus) Gauss Rdz Ormu 10 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 11 Angela Brodtka (Ger) Team DSB Bank 12 Sophie Creux (Fra) France 13 Grete Treier (Est) Gauss Rdz Ormu 14 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team High Road Women 15 Anita Valen De Vries (Nor) Team Flexpoint 16 Linda Villumsen Serup (Den) Team High Road Women 17 Oenone Wood (Aus) Team High Road Women 18 Emma Rickards (Aus) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 19 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 20 Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) Menikini - Selle Italia 21 Daiva Tuslaite (Ltu) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox 22 Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 23 Emma Johansson (Swe) Aa-Drink Cycling Team 24 Lorian Graham (Aus) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 25 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Bigla Cycling Team 26 Amber Neben (USA) Team Flexpoint 0.16 27 Elodie Touffet (Fra) Gauss Rdz Ormu 0.19 28 Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Ned) Team Flexpoint 0.20 29 Sarah Düster (Ger) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 0.22 30 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Australia 2.57 31 Iosune Murillo Elkano (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango 32 Belinda Goss (Aus) Australia 33 Lauren Franges (USA) United States Of America 34 Iryna Shpileva (Ukr) Ukraine 35 Iris Slappendel (Ned) Team Flexpoint 36 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Team DSB Bank 37 Irene Van Den Broek (Ned) Aa-Drink Cycling Team 38 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Team Flexpoint 39 Verónica Leal Balderas (Mex) Gauss Rdz Ormu 40 Regina Bruins (Ned) Nederland 41 Christiane Soeder (Aut) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 42 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 43 Zulfiya Zabirova (Kaz) Bigla Cycling Team 44 Vicki Whitelaw (Aus) Australia 5.45 45 Maryline Salvetat (Fra) France 46 Carmen McNellis (USA) United States Of America 6.04 47 Vera Koedooder (Ned) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 48 Olena Sharga (Ukr) Ukraine 49 Florence Girardet (Fra) France 50 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Nederland 51 Magali Le Floch (Fra) France 52 Anne Samplonius (Can) Canada 53 Denise Zuckermandel (Ger) Germany / Alemagne 54 Pascale Schnider (Swi) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 55 Adrie Visser (Ned) Team DSB Bank 56 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Team DSB Bank 57 Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Germany / Alemagne 58 Katherine Bates (Aus) Team High Road Women 59 Chantal Blaak (Ned) Aa-Drink Cycling Team 60 Silvia Parietti (Ita) Gauss Rdz Ormu 61 Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 62 Andrea Graus (Aut) Bigla Cycling Team 63 Karen Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies Team 8.51 64 Monica Holler (Swe) Bigla Cycling Team 65 Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies Team 66 Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) France 67 Kristy Miggels (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 68 Nikki Egyed (Aus) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 69 Tina Liebig (Ger) Team DSB Bank 70 Saskia Elemans (Ned) Team Flexpoint 71 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 72 Martina Ruzickova (Cze) Elk Haus DNF Charlotte Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung DNF Christina Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung DNF Eva Lutz (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung DNF Regina Schleicher (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung DNF Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung DNF Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Menikini - Selle Italia DNF Kori Kelley Seehafer (USA) Menikini - Selle Italia DNF Trine Schmidt (Den) Menikini - Selle Italia DNF Andrea Thürig (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team DNF Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Aa-Drink Cycling Team DNF Maxime Groenewegen (Ned) Aa-Drink Cycling Team DNF Martina Corazza (Ita) Gauss Rdz Ormu DNF An Van Rie (Bel) Vrienden Van Het Platteland DNF Emilie Blanquefort (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope DNF Corine Hierckens (Bel) Vienne Futuroscope DNF Nathalie Jeuland (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope DNF Pascale Jeuland (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope DNF Emmanuelle Merlot (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope DNF Wenxia Wang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling DNF Sufen Ma (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling DNF Fei Wang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling DNF Xin Liu (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling DNF Emma Mackie (Aus) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam DNF Emma Silversides (GBr) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam DNF Linn Torp (Nor) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam DNF Arantzazu Azpiroz (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango DNF Mireia Epelde (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango DNF Catrine Josefsson (Swe) Bizkaia - Durango DNF Ana Garcia Antequera (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango DNF Dorleta Zorrilla Braceras (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango DNF Jana Süss (Ger) Germany / Alemagne DNF Romy Kasper (Ger) Germany / Alemagne DNF Virginia Hennig (Ger) Germany / Alemagne DNF Marlen Jöhrend (Ger) Germany / Alemagne DNF Sissy Van Alebeek (Ned) Nederland DNF Judith Helmink (Ned) Nederland DNF Anne Eversdijk (Ned) Nederland DNF Monique Van Ree (Ned) Nederland DNF Megan Gaurner (USA) United States Of America DNF Alison Powers (USA) United States Of America DNF Brooke Miller (USA) United States Of America DNF Jocelyn Loane (Aus) Australia DNF Bridie O'Donnell (Aus) Australia DNF Louise Kerr (Aus) Australia DNF Gina Grain (Can) Canada DNF Erinne Willock (Can) Canada DNF Leigh Hobson (Can) Canada DNF Felicia Gomez (Can) Canada DNF Nina Ovchatenko (Ukr) Ukraine DNF Nataliya Fihurska (Ukr) Ukraine DNF Loes Sels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies Team DNF Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies Team DNF Miek Vyncke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen Thompson Ladies Team DNF Emma Pooley (GBr) Team Specialized Designs For Women DNF Monika Furrer (Swi) Team Specialized Designs For Women DNF Kristen Lasasso (USA) Team Specialized Designs For Women DNF Mirjam Hauser-Senn (Swi) Team Specialized Designs For Women DNF Larssyn Rueegg (USA) Team Specialized Designs For Women DNF Yulia Blindyuk (Rus) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox DNF Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox DNF Valentina Bastianelli (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox DNF Veronica Alessio (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox DNF Katharina Blum (Ger) Elk Haus DNF Pelin Cizgin (Aut) Elk Haus DNF Manuela Grunzweil (Aut) Elk Haus DNF Katarina Uhlarikova (Svk) Elk Haus DNF Karin Pauer (Aut) Elk Haus DNF Magali Mocquery (Fra) France
Individual 1 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 128 pts 2 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team High Road Women 82 3 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Team High Road Women 81 4 Marianne Vos (Ned) Team DSB Bank 77 5 Emma Pooley (GBr) Team Specialized Designs For Women 75 6 Katheryn Curi Mattis (USA) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 75 7 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Team High Road Women 70 8 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 61 9 Oenone Wood (Aus) Team High Road Women 61 10 Julia Martisova (Rus) Gauss RDZ Ormu 60 11 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Menikini - Selle Italia 57 12 Emma Rickards (Aus) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 53 13 Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA-Drink Cycling Team 53 14 Miho Oki (Jpn) Menikini - Selle Italia 40 15 Emma Johansson (Swe) AA-Drink Cycling Team 36 16 Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Safi - Pasta Zara Manhattan 36 17 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Safi - Pasta Zara Manhattan 35 18 Regina Schleicher (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 27 19 Alex Wrubleski (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 24 20 Liesbeth De Vocht (Bel) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 21 21 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Australia 21 22 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 19 23 Charlotte Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 18 24 Sarah Düster (Ger) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 18 25 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Bigla Cycling Team 17 26 Lorian Graham (Aus) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 15 27 Gina Grain (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 15 28 Regina Bruins (Ned) Netherlands 14 29 Angela Brodtka (Ger) Team DSB Bank 13 30 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 12 31 Christiane Soeder (Aut) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 11 32 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 11 33 Grete Treier (Est) Gauss RDZ Ormu 10 34 Sophie Creux (Fra) France 9 35 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 9 36 Peta Mullens (Aus) Australia 9 37 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo 8 38 Carly Hibberd (Aus) 8 39 Anita Valen De Vries (Nor) Team Flexpoint 6 40 Vicki Whitelaw (Aus) 6 41 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Team Halfords Bikehut 6 42 Linda Villumsen Serup (Den) Team High Road Women 5 43 Alison Powers (USA) United States of America 5 44 Lang Meng (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 5 45 Monica Holler (Swe) Bigla Cycling Team 4 46 Carissa Wilkes (NZl) New Zealand 4 47 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 4 48 Carlee Taylor (Aus) 3 49 Sofie Goor (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 2 50 Tina Mayolo Pic (USA) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 2 51 Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) Menikini - Selle Italia 1 52 Martine Bras (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 1 53 Yong Li Liu (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 1 Teams 1 Team High Road Women 295 pts 2 Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 188 3 Cervelo Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 164 4 Menikini - Selle Italia 98 5 Webcor Builders Cycling Team 90 6 Team DSB Bank 90 7 AA-Drink Cycling Team 89 8 Team Specialized Designs For Women 75 9 Gauss RDZ Ormu 70 10 Safi - Pasta Zara Manhattan 53 11 Bigla Cycling Team 40 12 Vrienden Van Het Platteland 39 13 Australia 30 14 Canada 24 15 Italy 18 16 Netherlands 14 17 France 9 18 USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo 8 19 Giant Pro Cycling 6 20 Team Halfords Bikehut 6 21 Team Flexpoint 6 22 United States of America 5 23 New Zealand 4 24 Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam 2