Ronde van Gelderland race report
Yesterday Lauren played a key role in her teammate’s win at the Ronde van Gelderland. Team Hitec Product’s dutch powerhouse sprinter; Kirsten Wild took a convincing sprint win to mark the team’s 5th victory for 2015.
The tough one day race offers varied terrain with a number of short climbs in quick succession in the opening 60km before the race moves to the dykes of the region and circling back to Apeldoorn for the finish. Usually the wind is a key factor in deciding the outcome of the race, however with nearly no wind and clear blue skies, the weather was not a factor in the results.
In the final 25km of the 127km race there we two dangerous breakaway attempts. The first going at 25km to go with 8 riders, the move contained nearly all the major teams but without Wiggle-Honda, Lauren represented Hitec in this move which gave her the chance if the break was to go all the way to the line but also allowed her team mates to rest behind while Wiggle chased hard to close the gap.
The move was brought back at 10km to go and there was immediately a counter with 7 more riders going clear, Lauren again found herself in the front with 6 different girls. This break didn’t cooperate well and was caught at 3km to go with the exception of Chantel Blaak who was caught in the final 500m.
“It was a fantastic ride by the team today, everyone played a part in the win and it was just a fun day on the bike”
“I was really happy with my feeling and to be able to be in the two dangerous moves that went in the final shows me that my form is where it should be and gives me confidence ahead of next weekend’s race in Borsele, The Netherlands.”
“Its so nice to see you team mate win, It’s just as good as if I win”
Lauren’s next race is Omloop van Borsele on April 25th.
Lauren has taken her second UCI win for 2015 with a solo win in stage two at the Tour of Thailand on Thursday. With the support of her Hitec Products teammates she also managed to pick up important bonus seconds throughout the stage to find herself leading the tour at days end, however with a tough fought battle on stage three Lauren slipped to second on the general classification but in doing so claimed her first UCI tour podium result.
“I’m really happy with the way things went this week, to win a stage solo, the way I did was really a very nice moment and shows the training I have been doing is paying off”
“Of course I’m a bit disappointed to not win the Tour but to finish on the podium is still a nice ending to the week, I was simply beaten by a stronger rider on the day”
Lauren finished 6th on the final stage in the bunch sprint with Hong Kong champion sprinter, Zhaojuan Meng, taking the stage and stealing the lead by 4 seconds over Lauren.
Lauren will now head back to Europe to take on three dutch classics over the next three weeks where she will ride as a key support rider for the team’s sprinter Kirsten Wild.
“The next three races are made for Kirsten, I hope I can be helpful and maybe be a second option for the team if the opportunity arises”
“I’m really thankful for the team’s support, all week they rode their hearts out for me, I look forward to riding for them throughout the rest of the season.”
Lauren travels to Thailand this weekend to prepare for the upcoming Tour of Thailand which begins on Wednesday the 8th of April. The three day tour will be a new experience for the current Oceania Champion, one that she is looking forward to.
“I’ve been looking forward to this race, I have no idea what to expect, everything will be a bit unknown, the riders, the courses and the general Thai culture, but Im throwing myself in!”
Lauren has high expectations of herself for the race and is looking for the top step of the podium. Hitec Products have brought a strong five rider squad for the race made up of three Norwegian riders, one Belgium rider and Lauren the sole Australian in the Hitec Products team.
“We have a motivated team for the race, I think all the girls are keen to have a good performance and we are more then capable to place a rider or two on the podium”
The UCI race is a good opportunity for Lauren and Hitec to chase all important points as we move closer to the World Championships and the Olympics next year.
“I see this race as a good chance to try some things with the team and to chase some points, it will hopefully be a nice experience all around!”
Lauren travels with her team over the weekend arriving in the town of Udon Thani in northern Thailand on Monday morning.