Ronde van Drenthe
Hoogeveen - Hoogeveen 8 April 2006 128km
It was a cold, horrible day on the Ronde van Drenthe today. The race rolled out under grey skies and within a few minutes, it was raining. The first third of the race was run off uncer cold, windy and heavy rain conditions. Although the rain stopped, the roads remained wet and the riders were drenched through.
A break went away early in the race, this was to be the race winning move. There were three distinct groups formed within the first few kilometres, but a crash which took down 20 plus riders caused a regrouping of the chasers.
The breakaway gradually increased their lead, the chasers became more and more fragmented. By the time the race reached Hoogeveen, prior to a lap over the climb again before finishing, they were ahead by minutes, rather than seconds. Attack after attack within the breakaway saw Linda Villumsen and Kirsten Wild go away, but they were brought back to the group. The bunch sprint was won by a delighted Loes Markerink, who took over the Leader's jersey from Ina-Yoko Teutenberg. Sara Duester now sits in second place, 4 seconds down on Markerink.
Given the conditions, it is hardly surprising that the list of abandons is as long as the list of finishers . Click here to see list
Sunday's final stage will be full of action - the top ten riders are all within 10 seconds of the leader.
Photos - Click on any image to enlarge >>
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