Ellen van Dijk wins 2021 Healthy Ageing Tour

The Trek-Segafredo rider battled frigid weather for her fourth overall win at the Dutch stage race.

Photo: Trek-Segafredo Women

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Ellen van Dijk’s overall win at the Healthy Ageing Tour on Friday was a victory on multiple counts.

This is the Trek-Segafredo rider’s fourth victory at the Dutch stage race, she endured fierce competition from a hungry peloton and waged an additional battle with horrible weather during the final stage.

“Four times? Ah yeah four times,” Van Dijk said. “I have to say every time was different and I think for sure this was the hardest and also with the most exciting finale.”

Van Dijk entered Friday’s final stage in the leader’s jersey, but her overall victory was in no way a shoo-in with Amy Pieters (SD Worx), Lisa Brennaeur (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling), Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) and Lonneke Uneken (SD Worx) also keen to take the stage win.

“The plan going into the stage was to stay with my main competitors Amy Pieters and Lisa Brennauer, and also to be patient because it’s a really hard lap which sucks a lot of energy out of you, so don’t panic too early,” van Dijk said.

But, the plan quickly dissolved when Uneken attacked solo and gained an impressive lead of three minutes. She started the day just two minutes behind Van Dijk and temporarily assumed the virtual GC lead.

“When Lonneke Uneken attacked I thought it was good, because I was in a group with four from SD Worx, so I thought, ‘she’s two minutes behind me on GC, so that’s fine, she can go,’” Van Dijk said.  “We heard on the radio all the time it was one minute, which was fine. But suddenly it was three minutes so then the panic was there, and we had to do all we could. Lauretta [Hanson] did some crazy good work and then I had to take over.”

To keep the race under control, Hanson was pulled out of the breakaway to help. As the tension increased, the size of the chasing peloton decreased, eventually leaving just a handful of the strongest riders to battle it out.

And then, there was the weather to contend with.

“In the meantime, it became so cold and rainy, and I almost couldn’t see anything anymore, my hands were frozen, so the shifting was a real problem,” van Dijk said. “On the second to last lap, I had a big problem to shift to easier gears on the cobbles. So I was in way too big of a gear and I could not follow the group with my main competitors, but then I could chase back afterwards again. I knew that I was not feeling super bad, but just struggling so much from the cold.”

It was touch and go heading into the final lap of the Col du VAM circuit, and van Dijk was tiring from the sustained efforts. The gap to Uneken started to drop, but there was also a threat from the riders around van Dijk: the riders in the top of the GC were within a half-minute or less of her lead. With the finish atop the Col du VAM, anything could happen – especially after being on the limit for so long in miserable weather.


“In the last lap I had to chase full-gas, or we would lose it to Uneken,” van Dijk said. “I knew that the last climb was going to be a big challenge. On the final climb, I was really parked, and I just had to get up there. I couldn’t go with Brennauer and Norsgaard, and I knew they were dangerous, so I just had to give it all to the finish line. At one point I didn’t even know if I would make it over the cobbles anymore. It was just a struggle but that makes the victory even sweeter. I wasn’t very fast anymore, but in the end just fast enough.”

Van Dijk hauled herself up the final climb, crossing the cobbled finish line in fourth place, 1:29 behind stage winner Uneken, and 15 seconds behind Brennauer and Norsgaard. The final GC calculations show Van Dijk just six seconds from Brennauer in second, and 12 seconds from Norsgaard in third.

“I couldn’t have done it without the team,” Van Dijk said. “It was a real team effort and also the mechanics were shouting from the side of the road and soigneurs were there and Ina [Teutenberg] – really everyone was involved, a great team atmosphere and so cool to see.”

“I am so happy I could pay off the work of the team and to bring this one home is a very nice feeling. First win of the year! On to more!”

Healthy Ageing Tour Stage 3 Results

1UNEKEN LonnekeTeam SD Worx3:32:13
2NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team1:14
3BRENNAUER LisaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling1:14
4VAN DIJK EllenTrek-Segafredo Women1:29
5KLEIN LisaCanyon//SRAM Racing1:33
6PIETERS AmyTeam SD Worx1:35
7BARNES AliceCanyon//SRAM Racing1:40
8VAN DER HULST AmberParkhotel Valkenburg2:20
9GEORGI PfeifferTeam DSM2:54
10LACH MartaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling2:58
11GROSSETÊTE MaëlleFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope3:02
12GONZÁLEZ AliciaMovistar Team3:02
13KASPER RomyTeam Jumbo-Visma Women3:02
14ANDERSEN SusanneTeam DSM3:02
15VAN DER DUIN MaikeDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.3:02
16BEEKHUIS TeuntjeTeam Jumbo-Visma Women3:09
17CHABBEY EliseCanyon//SRAM Racing3:13
18CANUEL Karol-AnnTeam SD Worx3:13
19MAJERUS ChristineTeam SD Worx3:15
20HENDERSON AnnaTeam Jumbo-Visma Women3:17
21D'HOORE JolienTeam SD Worx3:19
22LOWDEN JoscelinDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.3:42
23HANSON LaurettaTrek-Segafredo Women5:48
24WILD KirstenCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling5:48
25RYAN AlexisCanyon//SRAM Racing5:48
26VAN ROOIJEN SofieNetherlands7:23
27MARKUS FemkeParkhotel Valkenburg7:23
28BREDEWOLD MischaParkhotel Valkenburg7:23
29STEIGENGA NicoleNetherlands7:23
30STOCK GudrunGermany7:27
31CHAPMAN BrodieFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope7:27
32WIEL JadeFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope7:27
33SWINKELS KarlijnTeam Jumbo-Visma Women7:36
34TON QuintyGT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling7:36
1VAN DIJK EllenTrek-Segafredo Women7:08:38
2BRENNAUER LisaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling0:06
3NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team0:12
4UNEKEN LonnekeTeam SD Worx0:20
5PIETERS AmyTeam SD Worx0:29
6KLEIN LisaCanyon//SRAM Racing0:43
7BARNES AliceCanyon//SRAM Racing0:56
8BEEKHUIS TeuntjeTeam Jumbo-Visma Women2:42
9VAN DER HULST AmberParkhotel Valkenburg2:42
10HENDERSON AnnaTeam Jumbo-Visma Women2:50
11LOWDEN JoscelinDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.2:54
12MAJERUS ChristineTeam SD Worx3:03
13KASPER RomyTeam Jumbo-Visma Women3:07
14GROSSETÊTE MaëlleFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope3:18
15CHABBEY EliseCanyon//SRAM Racing3:27
16CANUEL Karol-AnnTeam SD Worx3:31
17D'HOORE JolienTeam SD Worx3:37
18LACH MartaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling3:43
19GEORGI PfeifferTeam DSM4:15
20VAN DER DUIN MaikeDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.4:23
21GONZÁLEZ AliciaMovistar Team4:23
22ANDERSEN SusanneTeam DSM5:16
23WILD KirstenCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling5:30
24HANSON LaurettaTrek-Segafredo Women6:43
25RYAN AlexisCanyon//SRAM Racing7:18
26MARKUS FemkeParkhotel Valkenburg7:36
27BREDEWOLD MischaParkhotel Valkenburg7:40
28SWINKELS KarlijnTeam Jumbo-Visma Women7:54
29STOCK GudrunGermany7:59
30CHAPMAN BrodieFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope8:10
31STEIGENGA NicoleNetherlands8:19
32TON QuintyGT Krush Tunap Pro Cycling8:35
33VAN ROOIJEN SofieNetherlands8:44
34WIEL JadeFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope9:08
1PIETERS AmyTeam SD Worx40
2VAN DIJK EllenTrek-Segafredo Women39
3NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team39
4BARNES AliceCanyon//SRAM Racing38
5BRENNAUER LisaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling32
6UNEKEN LonnekeTeam SD Worx25
7D'HOORE JolienTeam SD Worx25
8KLEIN LisaCanyon//SRAM Racing24
9HENDERSON AnnaTeam Jumbo-Visma Women21
10SWINKELS KarlijnTeam Jumbo-Visma Women16
11VAN DER HULST AmberParkhotel Valkenburg14
12LOWDEN JoscelinDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.10
13BEEKHUIS TeuntjeTeam Jumbo-Visma Women8
14GEORGI PfeifferTeam DSM7
15LACH MartaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling6
16GROSSETÊTE MaëlleFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope5
17GONZÁLEZ AliciaMovistar Team4
18WILD KirstenCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling4
19STOCK GudrunGermany4
20MAJERUS ChristineTeam SD Worx3
21KASPER RomyTeam Jumbo-Visma Women3
22ANDERSEN SusanneTeam DSM2
23VAN DER DUIN MaikeDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.1
1NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team7:08:50
2UNEKEN LonnekeTeam SD Worx0:08
3VAN DER HULST AmberParkhotel Valkenburg2:30
4GEORGI PfeifferTeam DSM4:03
5VAN DER DUIN MaikeDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.4:11
6BREDEWOLD MischaParkhotel Valkenburg7:28
7VAN ROOIJEN SofieNetherlands8:32
8WIEL JadeFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope8:56
1UNEKEN LonnekeTeam SD Worx25
2NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team9
3D'HOORE JolienTeam SD Worx5
4VAN DIJK EllenTrek-Segafredo Women3
5KLEIN LisaCanyon//SRAM Racing3
6HENDERSON AnnaTeam Jumbo-Visma Women3
7RYAN AlexisCanyon//SRAM Racing3
8BRENNAUER LisaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling1
9GONZÁLEZ AliciaMovistar Team1
10ANDERSEN SusanneTeam DSM1
1Team SD Worx 21:29:45
2Canyon//SRAM Racing0:46
3Team Jumbo-Visma Women4:49
4Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling5:25
5Parkhotel Valkenburg14:07
6FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope16:45

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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