Lauren Kitchen won the Ronde van Overijssel on May 1 in the Netherlands to take the biggest win of her career. The UCI class 1 event was a 143km loop around the province of Overijssel in the north east of The Netherlands. The course was a mainly flat lap of 126km and 2 finishing laps of 8.5km with numerous changes in direction and small lanes the race suited Lauren perfectly.
“The race just went perfectly for me! I’m so excited to take a big win in Europe, it been a long time that I have been racing in Europe and wanting this, so for it to happen its just so exciting!”
Team Hitec Products started the race with a key favourite in Kirsten Wild and this played to Lauren’s advantage with the peloton concerned most with the team’s super sprinter allowing Lauren to place herself in the race winning move.
“The first main move went at about 50km to go with a group of 9 forming in front, I was just patrolling this move as it was a big group but not contributing to the pace making as my team was chasing behind for Kirsten”
“Kirsten the came across with a few others then a second move of 5 of us went clear with the main team’s again represented”
This move contained former World Individual Time Trial Champion, Ellen van Dijk, Rabobank’s Anouska Koster, Parkhotel’s Natalie van Gough as well as Monique van der Rae completing the quintet along side Hitec’s Oceania Champion in Lauren.
“We quickly gained over a minute and with 8k to go we had 2mins.” “But in the final few kilometres we were riding so slow and the move nearly came back, It was a close finish, but I knew Kirsten would be ready if it did come back, so I wasn’t too concerned”
Lauren knew she had to wait till at least 200m to go before starting her sprint as the deceptively up hill finish was quite a long way from the final corner at 600m to go.
“The other girls in the break went very early so I followed and went full gas at about 180m to go. I past the girls in the final 50m and won by a length or so”
This result will propel Lauren to the top 35 riders in the world on the world ranking as well as the top three Australian riders.
Lauren will compete in two national level races this weekend to complement her training before heading to China next weekend.