Alexander Wetterhall solos to Ronde van Drenthe victory
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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Alexander Wetterhall solos to Ronde van Drenthe victory

by Ben Atkins at 4:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Swede takes NetApp-Endura’s first victory of 2013 as German team fills the podium

alexander wetterhallAlexander Wetterhall (NetApp-Endura) took his team’s first win of the 2013 season as he soloed to victory in the Ronde van Drenthe in freezing, rainy conditions. The Swedish rider jumped away from a leading group with 30km of the 195.5km race left, and managed to hold off the chase all the way to the finish.

"That was probably the perfect race for us,” said NetApp-Endure directeur sportif Jens Heppner. “It was awesome; I've rarely experienced anything like it. The whole team was extremely good. The boys were always out in front and they stamped their seal on the race. The solo ride from Alex in typical classic weather is of course fantastic. It doesn't get any better."

Having helped to block the chase behind Wetterhall, the Swede’s NetApp-Endura teammates Markus Eichler and Andreas Schillinger outsprinted Vacansoleil-DCM duo Wesley Kreder and Danny van Poppel for the final two places on the race podium to complete a total domination by the German Professional Continental team.

“I still haven’t realised that I won,” said Wetterhall afterwards. “I am so happy and of course I am pleased that we filled all spots on the podium as a team.”

Ridden under similar wet, cold conditions as the Women’s World Cup race run simultaneously on the same course, the race saw several crashes. Theo Bos (Blanco) was arguably the highest profile casualty, with the Dutch sprinter forced to withdraw with a deep cut to his knee.

It wasn’t long before a breakaway group formed, with NetApp-Endura and Vacansoleil-DCM both present in force. There were several attacks off the front of the group, with two riders at a time spending time ahead of the race before being pulled back by the others.

Scott Thwaites (NetApp-Endura) managed to get away alone in the latter part of the race, but suffered a rear wheel puncture that took an age for the neutral service to change. Shortly afterwards Wetterhall made his own move, however, and, with teammates in the group to block the chase, managed to time trial his way to the finish.

Result Ronde van Drenthe
1. Alexander Wetterhall (Swe) Team NetApp-Endura
2. Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura @ 46s
3. Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
4. Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM @ 49s
6. Elmar Reinders (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam @ 1’03”
7. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox @ 1’21”
8. Roy Sentjens (Bel) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks
9. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Jonas Aaen Jørgensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ 1’24”

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