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  Novilon Eurocup Preview  
  Novilon Eurocup is the final round of the three races around the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe. Coming the day after it is a last chance for teams who missed out on a result in the previous two races to try and salvage something. Marianne Vos is a two time winner of the race but is not here to make it three. Three former winners in Kirsten Wild, Annemiek Van Vleuten and Giorgia Bronzini line up however.

2014 Results

1 WILD Kirsten
2 OLDS Shelley +0
4 D'HOORE Jolien +3
5 BLAAK Chantal +3
6 ENSING Janneke +3
7 CROMWELL Tiffany +3
9 BRAND Lucinda +3
10 BRENNAUER Lisa +1:54

Past Winners

2014 Kirsten Wild
2012 Marianne Vos
2011 Suzanne de Goede
2010 Annemiek van Vleuten
2009 Marianne Vos
2008 Kristin Armstrong
2007 Giorgia Bronzini
2006 Loes Markerink
2005 Suzanne de Goede
2004 Sissy van Alebeek
2003 Mirjam Melchers
2002 Leontien van Moorsel
2000 Madeleine Lindberg

The Route

The race starts out in Coevorden with the first sprint point coming after 15 kilometres. The only climb of the day the VAMBerg (380m at 9.7% average) comes early in the race at the 28km mark and is the only GPM point on the stage. Over the VAMBerg the peloton heads towards and around Assen.

The race finishes with two laps of an 11 kilometre loop just outside of Roden. The second and final sprint point comes on the first crossing of the finish line with 11.2km to go.

The Contenders

Kirsten Wild

Defending Champion and the Queen of women's sprinting Kirsten Wild has had a late start to the 2015 season with a renewed focus on the track. Bronze medallist in the omnium at the Track World Championships and won the scratch race ahead of Amy Cure. Looked strong but a mechanical saw her drop out of the leading group. Managed to rejoin and finished 11th in the sprint. Can count on strong support from Lauren Kitchen, the new Oceania Champion who is a contender in her own right. Emilie Moberg finished fourth at Molecaten Drentse Acht van Westerveld and will be a key rider leading out Wild but the result will also give the team and herself confidence she can finish off with a strong result when the opportunity presents itself.

Annemiek Van Vleuten

Annemiek Van Vleuten has been on a steady run of form 18th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, ninth Strade Bianche and third at Molecaten Drentse Acht van Westerveld. It is a race she has won before, back in 2010 the year she won the World Cup overall. That year was third in Drentse 8 Van Dwingeloo, second Ronde Van Drenthe before taking the win here. Based on how she is riding at the moment a repeat this year looks very possible. Van Vleuten was not at her best yesterday and the team was outnumbeed by the likes of Boels Dolmans and Wiggle Honda.

Emma Johansson Orica-AIS

The always consistent Emma Johansson rounded out the podium here last year and regardless of the race she is rarely far from the podium. On the opening race Johansson was happy to sit in the peloton and allow Valentina Scandolara a chance from the break, where she finished second. Johansson has often been left isolated in the closing stages of races and while she can manage on her own it is impossible to mark every move by the likes of Boels Dolmans and Rabo on her own. Johansson made the elite group at Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe yesterday but was again left isolated and hurt her chances.

Melissa Hoskins is still finding her road legs but could be a card to play. Lizzie Williams and Gracie Elvin both pack strong finishes from select groups and don't be surprised to see them on the attack. Valentina Scandolara has been on strong form of later and expect her to be an important player for the team.

Boels Dolmans

They wanted to become the top team in the women's peloton and they are well on their way to doing that. The team won three stages and the overall in Qatar. The team followed up with second, third and fourth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, second Omloop van het Hageland and first and second at Strade Bianche. Chantal Blaak and Ellen Van Dijk have all taken wins but are sitting out this race. Lizzie Armitstead is here and after missing out yesterday will be chasing a win. 2nd Strade Bianche, 3rd Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and 7th yesterday at Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe, leaves Armitstead still chasing that first win of the year in Europe.

Dual Junior World Champion on the road Amalie Dideriksen has been posting some strong results early in the year. Won the bunch sprints behind the break at Omloop van het Hageland and Omloop van het Hageland and Acht van Westerveld. Important not to put too much pressure on here but could have an opportunity to produce a strong result.

Romy Kasper is a rider who is integral to the team in a supporting role for the teams leaders but could have an opportunity for herself. Classics specialist Christine Majerus is another rider often in a support role who in the right situation could be contending for the win.

Giorgia Bronzini, Jolien D'hoore and Chloe Hosking

Wiggle brings a strong team of sprinters who can win from a select group or bunch sprint. Jolien D'hoore won Omloop van het Hageland and Giorgia Bronzini won Molecaten Drentse Acht van Westerveld. Bronzini is one of three former winners down to start. Both wins came from select groups but both riders would be equally favoured from a larger group. Add in Australian Chloe Hosking and the team has a third sprinter who can contend for victory.

If the team wasn't already full of confidence they will be now. Had riders in the elite group at Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe yesterday but when it came back together in the closing kilometres they were in control. A perfect leadout saw Wiggle deliver Jolien D'hoore to the line to win on her birthday. With Hosking, Bronzini and D'hoore all on form and working well together don't be surprised to see one of then again on the top step.

Rabo Liv

Anna Van der Breggen leads a strong Rabo squad and has had one of the best starts to the year. Won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, second at Le Samyn and fifth at Strade Bianche. In a big bunch sprint Van der Breggen is unlikely to be challenging for the win so expect to see her on the attack hoping for a select group.

Amy Pieters

Pieters hasn't quite repeated her early season performances from last year but in every race she has started she has been in contention. Finished ninth in Qatar, before seventh at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Le Samyn, eighth Omloop van het Hageland and 10th at Acht van Westerveld. Second at Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe but didn't have an answer for the strength of Wiggle Honda. If she hopes to stand on the top step of the podium will have to find a way to isolate Wiggle.


A strong team but the team is unfortunately without the on form Loren Rowney who is out with a broken collarbone. Individual and team time trial World Champion and road race silver medallist Lisa Brennauer is another contender. Brennauer won the bunch sprint for 10th last year and her performance at the World Championships with a display of just how quick she is on the line. In the event of a big bunch sprint the team is likely to look to Italian sprinter Barbara Guarischi.

Elena Cecchini

Italian Champion Elena Cecchini has been chasing a big win for a while and you get the feeling it is just around the corner. Three top five finishes at the Tour Femenino de San Luis, consistent in Qatar before a strong start to the European season. sixth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and 10th at both Le Samyn and Strade Bianche. Would prefer a more select race but if there is a select group don't be surprised to see Cecchini there. Made the elite selection but was left well back in the eventual group sprint at Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe finishing further down that she would have liked in 15th.

National Team United States

The US National team has several options and can always be counted on to have someone in the action. Heather Fischer finished fifth at Acht van Westerveld from the seven rider break. Sprinter Coryn Rivera was in the mix at Omloop van het Hageland finishing fourth again from a break. Rivera is a frequent winner in the United States and despite her limited experience racing in Europe improves with each race she starts. Also keep an eye on Alexis Ryan.

Other names to watch: JMaria Giulia Confalonieri, Arianna Fidanza and Pascale Jeuland and Roxane Fournier.
 © 2016