Wind, storm, cobblestones and the VAMberg made the Drentse 8 van Westerveld incredibly tough on Friday afternoon. Even so that only the eight riders in the front covered the entire distance - the local final laps were cancelled for the peloton. One of the escapees was Evy Kuijpers, who convinced with a great race in Dwingeloo and surroundings. Our rider from Brabant, who is in her first professional season, took the eighth place.
A group of fifteen riders broke away after 30 kilometres, including Valerie Demey and Evy Kuijpers in their orange jerseys. Due to the strong wind, echelons were created, causing Valerie and other riders to be dropped; only a couple were able to return afterwards. After VAMberg and a crash, Evy and seven other riders remained in the front. Their lead consistently increased and they prepared to enter the final.
The real final started 10 kilometres from the finish when Ellen van Dijk opened the attack. Evy had already consumed a lot of energy in the leading group with world toppers and was dropped a couple of times, but always fought back. Despite all these efforts, it was not possible to go for the victory. Audrey Cordon-Ragot arrived solo and the other podium places went to Amy Pieters and Marta Bastianelli after a sprint.
“Evy had a fantastic performance. Considering the top riders who were in the front group, she can only be proud of what she achieved in very challenging circumstances. Evy has also shown character by fighting back three times in the final. This type of competition is good for her to progress. She knows what she wants and what she wants to accomplish", says sports director Jeroen Blijlevens.
Photo credits: Cor Vos