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A familiar face was first across the line at Ronde van Gelderland as Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products – UCK) took her third straight victory in Apledoorn. The Dutchwomen out-sprinted Lucy Garner (Liv Plantur) and Barbara Guarischi (Velocio-SRAM) to the top step of the podium.
The peloton split over the early climbs but reformed over the winding, narrow roads on the return to Apledoorn. The second half of the race saw a number of breakaways go clear, but all lacked the staying power to gain any real traction. The most dangerous move of the lot was an eight-rider escape.
Twenty kilometres from the finish Amy Pieters (Liv Plantur), Romy Kasper (Boels-Dolmans), Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS), Lauren Kitchen (Hitec Products – UCK), Amy Cure (Lotto Soudal), Vera Koedooder (Bigla), Moniek Tenniglo (Rabo Liv) and Annelies Dom (Lensworld Zannata) looked to upset the sprinters. Having missed out on the move, the responsibility fell to Wiggle Honda to chase, and the British-registered outfit assumed position on the front.
A counter-attack immediately followed the catch of the eight-rider breakaway. As the peloton jumped to respond, Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) slipped up the road. Blaak bridged across to the leaders, but rather than work with them, she rode through them – the lone leader inside the final five kilometres.
With the sprint teams assembling behind her, Blaak time trialled toward the finish line, overtaken only in the final 200 metres.
Who made the course in #RondevanGelderland 200m longer ????? All or nothing. I had nothing.
— Chantal Blaak (@Blaaki) April 19, 2015
With Blaak back in the bunch, Wild handily won the slight uphill drag to the line. Although Wild started her season later than usual, first racing at the Ronde van Drenthe races last month, she’s already racking up the results. Wild’s win in Gelderland is her third in five weeks – following victories at Novilon Eurocup and the Energiewacht Tour (stage three).
Quietly slotting into sixth place, Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv) was welcomed back into the peloton. Plagued by early season injury, Vos delayed the start of her road season until Sunday.
— Marianne Vos (@marianne_vos) April 19, 2015
“It was very nice to be back in the peloton again,” said Vos, in her team’s race report. “I was welcomed by the whole peloton. It was fun and heartwarming to see how I was received after such a long absence and of course, it was also great fun to be with the team again.”
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