How the race finished
Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) won the 2023 Ronde van Drenthe, making it three wins in three years. Young riders Susanne Andersen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) and Maike van der Duin (Canyon//Sram Racing) completed the podium after the peloton raced on a reconfigured course when snowfall rendered the planned route too dangerous.
Celebrating her third win in Drenthe, Lorena said she felt fantastic and strong through the entire race, including on the final time up the VAMberg. She was very happy to finish it off, and even more so that there had been a race at all – but will be looking forward to racing the cobbles here again next year.
Full results are available below.
How it happened
With snow falling and races earlier in the week having been cancelled, whether this year’s Ronde van Drenthe would go ahead was touch and go right up until the riders hit the start line. Snow was still on the ground as the riders got underway with a delayed start on a reconfigured route. The cobble sections were removed completely for safety reasons, with the course shortened to around 96km made up of six laps including five times up the VAMberg before heading back to the finish line in Hoogeveen.
About a third of the way into the race, a significant crash near the front of the peloton coming into the base of the VAMberg put a number of riders out of contention. Up ahead, the peloton was broken into three groups, with a small group of around eight riders in the lead, including fast finisher Lotte Henttala (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step).
After the next ascent of the VAMberg, the front group swelled to twelve riders, including two riders for Jumbo Visma and three riders for Team SD Worx. Defending champion Lorena Wiebes was tucked into the larger second group on the road, alongside the fast finishing for UAE Team AQD trio of Marta Bastianelli, Chiara Consonni and Eleonora Gasparrini. With a gap of around 25 seconds, the pair took on the work to bring the leaders back, finally bringing it back together into the base of the next time up the climb.
Into the last third of the race, attacks came from SD Worx, EF Education Tibco SVB, and XX, but nothing stuck. With Team SD Worx controlling the front of the peloton, things settled down a little, everyone taking a chance to catch a breath. Agnieska Skulniak-Sojka (Canyon//Sram Racing) tried to take advantage of the lull to get away solo, but with an SD Worx rider on her wheel, the pair were quickly chased down by AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step Team, leading the peloton behind.
After the last ascent of the VAMberg, with no difference being made on the climb, the peloton had around 11 kilometers to race back to the finish line in Hoogeveen. Daniek Hengeveld tried again and again to launch an attack, but Mischa Bredewold (SD Worx) wouldn’t let her get an inch. SD Worx controlled the front of the peloton with an early lead out, but Uno-X Pro Cycling Team timed it perfectly to bring Susanne Anderson into contention in the final kilometer. Spotting the finish line, Lorena launched early, powering up the middle to an impressive, clear win, and holding three fingers in the air to celebrate her third victory in a row at this race.
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