Sixth for Lotta in Ronde van Drenthe

Lotta Henttala of Team AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step sprinted to a sixth place in the sixth Women’s WorldTour race of the season, the Ronde van Drenthe at the weekend. The 25th edition of this race was significantly shortened to 94 kilometres instead of 152 kilometres because of the snow that caused the cancellation of Drentse 8 on Friday. Fortunately, the roads were cleared enough on Saturday for riders to compete on a course that now consisted of six laps around the VAM-berg and then back to Hoogeveen.

“It was really crazy in the last 24 hours,” Lotta said after her excellent ride. “There was lots of hesitation about the race: would we race or not? In the end it was decided we would race, but at the start there was still hesitation. It was a nervous race with crashes. Ilse (Pluimers) and Romy (Kasper) helped me at the start and then I found myself in the breakaway after two laps. The crashes happened behind me. Julia (Borgström) and Maud (Rijnbeek) came back and helped me. I encouraged them to give all and be focused on breakaways. They did a great job. We were short on riders in the final while SD Worx had five. I needed to use a lot of energy in the final kilometres and didn’t have lots left in the final kilometre. In the end, after all that happened, sixth is a good result and there is more to come in the Belgian races,” Lotta concluded.

Maud was one of the riders helping Lotta after Romy and Ilse crashed out. The young Dutch rider countered moves and protected her teammate.

“The first laps I had to really get used to the cold, but then I managed to ride at the front and stay there,” said Maud. “I positioned well before the VAM-berg. Julia and I helped Lotta. We communicated well and tried to counter-attack. In the final kilometres, we tried to position Lotta for the sprint. There is room for improvement there to get her in an even better position in the near future. I am already looking forward to Nokere Koerse on Wednesday,” 

Romy Kasper was involved in the crash. She suffered many abrasions but avoided fractures. Sadly, Ilse did fracture her hand. More news on her recovery will follow from the Team soon.

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