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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, October 25, 2021

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. - Albert Schweitzer

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Les Woodland's book Tour de France: The Inside Story - Making the World's Greatest Bicycle Race is available as an audiobook Book here.

Ronde van Drenthe team reports

We posted the report from third-place Dylan Groenewegen's Jumbo-Visma team with the results.

Here's the report from second-place Andrea Pasqualon's Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team:

This Sunday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux concluded its 2021 season on the Ronde van Drenthe, in the north of the Netherlands. Andrea Pasqualon, who grabbed the very first podium of the team earlier this year on Le Samyn, crossed the finish line in second place after a solid collective performance, only edged out by breakaway survivor Herregodts (Topsport).

Rune Herregodts

Rune Herregodts wins the Ronde van Drenthe. Photo: Kim Stellingwerf

Behind the three fugitives part of the early breakaway, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux took sole responsibility of the chase, setting the pace on the cobbled sections in the first half of the race and then on the five passages of the Col du VAM in the second half. In addition to the chase, the men led by Aike Visbeek exploded the race by placing Jan Bakelants in a counterattack.

Only Herregodts managed to resist at the front, and he won in Hoogeven after a 15-kilometer solo. Arrived 13 seconds behind the winner, Pasqualon won the sprint of strong peloton of thirty riders which also included Bakelants and Taco van der Hoorn. Pasqualon thus offered the twenty-fifth podium of the team on this final race of the season.

“I continued to train hard with the motivation to end the season with a win. I felt today was my day and the team did everything they could to help me win. We toughened up the race all day and forced the selection. However, we did not receive any help from the other teams so we had all the weight of the pursuit. It’s a shame that I came too late to come away with the win, but I’m proud of my strong sprint and the great team spirit that reigned there, like always during the season." - Andrea Pasqualo

Nils Eekhoff's Team DSM posted this report:

The final race of the season saw Team DSM line up at Ronde van Drenthe this afternoon, with a tricky and hard day of racing expected over the 185 kilometres from Assen to Hoogeveen, where the bunch would tackle unpaved sections of road and five passages of the infamous VAM-berg climb; with three of those coming in the finale.

It was an attacking opening 15 kilometres before a three rider group managed to escape, building up an advantage that reached of over five minutes, with all Team DSM riders in the peloton. As the kilometres ticked down, the intensity of the racing increased and the bunch slowly diminished throughout the afternoon, as did the gap for those ahead.

However, things slowed in the peloton approaching the VAM-berg circuit and those out front increased their lead, which would ultimately be enough for Herregodts to go solo and hold on for the win. Bad luck hampered the team throughout the day with Casper van Uden in a promising move earlier before he was involved in a crash, couple with some untimely mechanicals which saw the team spend extra energy. Back in the chasing peloton, the race exploded over the climbs before regrouping somewhat again with Nils Eeekhoff leading the team home in eighth place.

Nil eekhoff

Nils Eekhoff winning the 2019 U23 World Championships.

“It was a day of bad luck in Drenthe for us,” explained Eekhoff. “We had good spirit and were racing in the front but several crashes and mechanicals made it hard for us. We kept on fighting towards the front and got back in the race in the final. Casper was in a good attack for us but unfortunately due to his fall earlier he wasn’t able to follow anymore. I focused on staying in the front and covering the counter attacks and then positioned for the sprint. We managed a solid sprint in the end to finish eighth.”

Team DSM coach Wilbert Broekhuizen added: “We were fully committed from the start and the whole team was super motivated to go for a result. After around 30 kilometres both Tim and Casper crashed, and from that moment we unfortunately had someone in almost every incident; it was a really nervous and stressful day in the bunch. Niklas and Marius were then both involved in falls too.

"We were just unlucky today that we were in those falls as it cost us so much energy to come into a good position towards the final. Enzo and Florian brought back the dangerous attacking group, behind the lone leader and Tim then did a super good job to bring Casper and Nils into a good position. Casper then put in a good effort in the final and Nils could finish it off in the top ten for us. Overall, we were pretty unlucky today but the guys commitment was really good and we can proud of the fight and effort they showed despite the bad luck.”

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