Amy Pieters followed in the footsteps of her Boels Dolmans teammates Amalie Dideriksen, Chantal Blaak and Lizzie Deignan on Sunday when she won the Ronde van Drenthe. The Dutchwoman took the win in what was only the second road race of her 2018 season after focusing on the recent UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, where she took silver in the Madison [with Kirsten Wild] for the Netherlands.
“I had no idea exactly how I would do on the road, coming here straight from the Track World Championships,” Pieters said. “I have been waiting for a big victory for a long time, now I finally have it, but it’s still a bit strange. I’m happy, and I think I will fully realise it later.”
With several former winners in the line-up, Boels Dolmans were favourites to win, and the team had not laid a rigid strategy.
“We were pretty open at the start,” Pieters said. “We are all in good shape and can all win this race. It was a hectic race, especially in the final. Of course it’s sad that we missed Chantal Blaak and Amalie Dideriksen there, then you can play off each other even more, but we have to be happy that we still won. I still felt good, so the girls gave me the chance to do the sprint.”
Pieters won the fight for a good position in the final kilometre, but this meant she had to launch her sprint early.
“I was in second position, but then I got in the front pretty soon,” she said. “I couldn’t wait and just tried to keep it to the finish line. You’re never sure, but when Alexis [Ryan] came I felt I had a second kick, and I am happy I could finish it off.”
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