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A strong chase but no joy for Wiggle Honda in the Energiewacht Tour wind
The riders of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling endured a hard day in the wind in the fourth stage of the Energiewacht Tour, in the northeastern Netherlands, but were unable to prevent the peloton splitting on the windy 135km circuit. An 18-rider group managed to get away and, despite some strong chasing from Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling, the group stayed away to the finish.
“It was a nasty day,” said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope. “It kept splitting in the same place; the first two times it came back together, but the third time it stayed split and the girls couldn’t close it. The wind, and the days of chasing have just caught up with them a bit.”
The stage was won by Dutch super sprinter Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano), who picked up her fourth victory in the race, ahead of race leader Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) and Adrie Visser (Boels-Dolmans).
“The accumulation of racing day after day has taken its toll,” Cope explained. “Inexperience isn’t the right word, they’re just not conditioned to it, but I think it’s positive for the future, for sure.
“They kept rolling through, so they’re all pretty tired,” he added, “but it’s all good.”
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycing’s Lauren Kitchen finished in 19th place, at the head of the first group to finish behind the breakaway, with Olympic champion teammate Dani King 20th.
With Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s double Olympic champion Laura Trott finishing in 28th place, as part of the same group and, with white jersey incumbent Jolanda Neff (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) ahead in the breakaway, Trott’s fight for the best young rider classification appears to be over with just one stage to go.
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling will be on the offensive in the fifth and final stage, however.
“That’s gone, unfortunately,” Cope confirmed, “but tomorrow we’ll just go out there and race; just race our bikes we’ll see what we get. It’ll be another day tomorrow; the circuit is open so it’ll probably split again, but that’s what this type of racing’s like.”
1. Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano)
2. Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon)
3. Adrie Visser (Boels-Dolmans)
19. Lauren Kitchen
20. Dani King
28. Laura Trott
44. Emily Collins
14. March 197
photo Cheltenham jockey club
14. March 221
photo Cheltenham Racecourse