Gunnewijk solos to Drenthe World Cup win
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gunnewijk solos to Drenthe World Cup win

by Ben Atkins at 9:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Race Reports and Results
 

Loes Gunnewijk (Nederland Bloeit) won the Unive Ronde Van Drenthe, the third round of the UCI Women’s World Cup in the east of the Netherlands, after escaping from a 13-rider group in the closing kilometres. Teammate Annemiek Van Vleuten won the sprint for second, making a one-two for the Nederland Bloeit team, and Giorgia Bronzini (Gauss-RDZ-Ormu) was third.

Gunnewijk finished second in this race last year, behind Swede Emma Johansson, which in itself was a fantastic result for the former Dutch time trial champion. "It really felt like a victory because I ended a period full of misfortune at that time,” she told the Dutch press after the race, “but really a win is even more beautiful! I took my chance when it went quiet at the front, just before it looked like it would come down to sprint."

Gunnewijk was encouraged in her last-ditch solo effort by her director sportif, former sprinter Jeroen Blijlevens. "He shouted in my ear that I had forced a gap and had to keep going; that it succeeded is a dream come true. I have often been close to a victory in a World Cup in a number of years, but now I have done it."

The course featured several cobbled sections and three ascents of the short, but steep VAM-berg, the only hill in the area, which is actually a reclaimed landfill site. The race was dominated by a seven-rider break, consisting of Van Vleuten, Bronzini, Chantal Blaak (Leontien.nl), Noemi Cantele (HTC-Columbia), Marie Lindberg (RedSun Cycling), Charlotte Becker and Sarah Düster.

The group was later joined by Gunnewijk, Brooke Miller (Tibco), 2007 race winner Adrie Visser (HTC-Columbia), Carla Swart (MTN), Iris Slappendel (Cervélo TestTeam) and Tiffany Cromwell (Australia). With most of the big teams represented up front the peloton made little progress in reeling in the break.

With just over a kilometre to go, Gunnewijk took advantage of a lull in the pace of the breakaway group and attacked. The time trial specialist managed to hang on to finish just one second of the rest, led by her teammate Van Vleuton.

Kirsten Wild (Cervélo TestTeam) beat World Cup leader Marianne Vos in the sprint for 14th place, but the Dutch champion keeps her lead in the overall World Cup competition.

Result
1. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
2. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit @ 1s
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Gauss-RDZ-Ormu
4. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam
5. Chantal Blaak (Ned) Leontien.nl
6. Brooke Miller (USA) Tibco-To The Top
7. Adrie Visser (Ned) HTC-Columbia
8. Carla Swart (RSA) MTN
9. Marie Lindberg (Swe) RedSun Cycling
10. Iris Slappendel (Ned) Cervélo TestTeam

World Cup standings after round 3
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit 131pts
2. Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto Ladies 84
3. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Nederland Bloeit 75

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