Amber Kraak has won the fifth edition of La Périgord Ladies. The 29-year-old rider from Team Jumbo-Visma held off her two breakaway companions in the French one-day race to claim the first UCI victory of her career.
Kraak, who took her first professional win at last year’s Volta Limburg Classic, looked comfortable on the hilly course in the Dordogne. On the penultimate climb of the Cote de Bauchaud, Kraak and Jade Wiel rode up to the two leaders. Kraak then made several attempts to get rid of her breakaway companions. On her fourth attempt, she was successful.
With one and a half kilometres to go, she created a gap that she didn’t relinquish. “This is my first victory at the UCI level and the biggest of my career,” Kraak said. “I had my sights set on this race. I felt I had recovered well from the Tour, and with most of the riders at the World Cup, I wanted to take this opportunity. To succeed at that is super nice.”
Kraak is grateful to her team for their work. “We wanted to make the race hard, because it would benefit me. The course was selective: it was constantly up and down, and there were few two-lane roads. The team did everything to get me to the front, and they did it very well. In the end, I was able to attack and try to get rid of as many riders as possible.”
La Picto-Charentaise, another French one-day race, is on the programme today. Kraak expects a less selective course than La Périgord Ladies. “It will be harder to make the course hard, but we will try to attack. We don’t want it to come down to a sprint,” she said in anticipation of the race.