2e in Omloop van Borsele
Geplaatst op maandag 22 april 2013 om 07:43
On a wind swept day in Holland, Loes Gunnewijk took second place
in a two-up sprint to the line at Omloop van Borsele. Her lone
breakaway companion, Vera Koedooder (Sengers Ladies), took top
ORICA-AIS was excited to have two sprinters in the race today,
although the expectation that the race would come down to a bunch
sprint was slim. Indeed, the field was split into several groups as
the wind and crashes took their toll on the peloton. In the end, it
was Gunnewijk and Koedooder who would stay away from a small group
of chasers to fight for victory in Borsele.
"We had our two sprinters back into the fold," said Sport
Director Dave McPartland. "It's the first time in a long time that
we've had multiple options in the sprint, and we were pretty
excited about that. However, we didn't get too carried away with
banking on a bunch sprint because of the wind. If the race came to
a bunch sprint, we were going to prepare the sprint for Nettie
The peloton today was massive - 184 starters. The combination of
a large field and strong winds made for a lot of nerves on the
start line. The race had just gotten underway when crashes took the
"Early on there's a famous left hand turn," explained
McPartland. "It's always a massive war to get into good position.
We lost [Sungeun] Gu straightaway there in a crash. During the
second lap, we lost Nettie and Gracie [Elvin] in a similar place.
They're all okay but their race was done."
"Wind like this creates heaps of tension and stress in the
bunch," added McPartland. "It was enough to cause crashes from the
start, and with the crashes, everyone wanted to avoid trouble and
so that made a fight for the front. Maybe the wind was not as
strong as in the past, but it was definitely strong enough to have
a big impact on the race. The width of the road is only one car
wide, so we can only get three riders at the most across the road
for at least half of the 24k loop. When groups split across the
road, even in an echelon, you can only fit six across. Today the
wind was enough to really and truly split the race on the first
By the end of the second of five laps, a front group of 19
riders had formed, which included Gunnewijk, Amanda Spratt and
"We were well covered by the three we had left at the front of
the race," said McPartland. "They did a good job with position. The
front group formed and sort of splintered a few times on the second
and third laps."
With two laps to go, Koedooder went on the attack and only
Gunnewijk, Chloe Hosking (Hitec), Lucinda Brand (Rabo Women),
Okensa Kozonchuk (RusVelo) and Nina Kessler (Boels - Dolmans) were
able to follow. Behind them Spratt was in a chase group with four
others and Hoskins further back in the second chase.
Early on in the last lap, Koedooder went on the attack again.
This time, only Gunnewijk could follow her wheel.
"Koedooder has a fast finish," said McPartland. "Obviously we
don't get to pick and choose which one of our three would be off
the front. It would have been better if we had someone like Mel
[Melissa Hoskins] up the road with Koedooder, but she had already
been split from the front group. We knew it was a gamble with
Koedooder, but we didn't have too many options, so it was a gamble
we opted to take."
The gap for the two leaders fluctuated between 19" and 30" in
the closing kilometres as the riders they had earlier dropped
continued chasing hard. As the wind and hard pace continued to
punish the riders, the small chase group splintered again behind
the leaders. Brand and Hosking emerged as two lone chasers. Of
these two, it was Brand who rounded out the podium.
"Unfortunately we didn't win," said McPartland. "We pretty much
had the best numbers. Rabobank also had three but our three were
stronger. Being so close, it's always a little bit harder to
swallow. Loes finished a strong classics campaign. It would have
been nice if she could have won before she had a little break from
racing. We did a really good job with what we had."
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