Ronde van Drenthe Preview 2014

Ronde van Drenthe race is the first of the new format Women’s Road World Cup. The World Cup has revised point scoring system for 2014 with more riders earning more points and the addition of three additional competitions for climbers, sprinters and a youth jersey. As part of the launch for the new format Women’s Road World Cup the UCI ran a competition to design the jerseys which was won by Rabo-Liv’s, Iris Slappendel.

World Cup Jerseys by Iris Slappendel

World Cup Jerseys by Iris Slappendel

 

What happened last year

Cold, wet and windy conditions made for a tough day’s racing. Vos attacked on VAMberg, quickly building a significant lead. Back on the other side of the climb Ellen van Dijk managed to time-trial across the gap but Emma Johansson’s attempts to do the same were thwarted by a mechanical issue following an earlier crash which left Johansson with limited gearing.  Van Dijk was no match for Vos in the sprint to the finish with Johansson completing the podium in third. Chloe Hosking won the bunch sprint a minute later.

The first half of the above video has highlights from the race.

Points and prizes

There are two point scoring scales for World Cup races, the first that contribute towards the World Cup competition and the second that contribute to UCI rankings. The top twenty will earn from 1,128€ for first place through to 84€ for twentieth.

Position WC Points UCI Points Prize Money [€]
1st 100 120 1128
2nd 75 100 846
3rd 55 85 564
4th 45 70 338
5th 38 60 282
6th 32 50 255
7th 26 40 255
8th 22 35 198
9th 18 30 169
10th 15 25 140
11th 12 20 113
12th 10 18 113
13th 8 16 113
14th 6 14 113
15th 4 12 113
16th 3 10 84
17th 2 8 84
18th 1 6 84
19th 4 84
20th 2 84

In addition to the main prizes there is 100€ up for grabs for both the winner of the sprint and climbers classification and 50€ for the youth classification as well as wearing the new World Cup jerseys at Trofeo Binda, the next World Cup race. There is an additional award for the winner of the sprints across the cobbled sectors with 200€ going to the winner.

The route

Ronde van Drenthe Profile

Ronde van Drenthe is 146.6 km in length, starting and finishing in Hoogeveen. The course features three climbs of VAMberg, a short, sharp climb, less than 500 metres long but has an average gradient of 17.5%, with the steepest section topping out at 23%. The Netherlands isn’t known for its climbing terrain and Drenthe is no different, VAMberg isn’t a natural feature, it’s a former landfill site. The first ascent of VAMberg, just ten kilometres into the race is unlikely to have a bearing on the outcome of the race but the second and third ascents are at 102 and 130 kilometres into the race almost certainly will. They provide the opportunity for the ambitious to attempt to breakaway to the finish, or at the very least whittle down those who’ll contend the finish.

Between the first and second ascents of VAMberg there’s four stretches of cobbles, the first is 500 metres long, 26 kilometres into the race. The remaining three sections are much longer, at 4.1km, 3.5km and 1.9km in length at the 57km, 67km and 77 kilometres into the race. The two sprint points on the course are late in the race, 112.3km & and the first passage of the finish line after, 116.8 km.

Who’s racing?

It’s more a question of who isn’t racing. With Vos choosing to delay the start of her road season until La Flèche Wallonne the other big names will be looking to steal the march in the World Cup competition with three World Cup races ahead of her return.

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