Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Belgian Champion Jolien D’hoore will make her debut on the road this season in Saturday’s Ronde van Drenthe in Hoogeveen, Netherlands. The 25-year-old celebrated her birthday in style in last year’s edition of the race, with her first ever victory in the road World Cup. The World Cup has been replaced by the Women’s World Tour in 2016, and the Ronde van Drenthe will be the second event in the new season-long competition.
“I’m really looking forward to join my teammates again on the road,” D’hoore said. “Maybe the track worlds weren’t really what I expected but I’m still hopeful for the future. For now it’s good for my mind to do some road racing. Especially when I can start my road season in Drenthe. Last year was an amazing day for me and the team; it was my birthday, my first World Cup win, my first time as World Cup leader…”
D’hoore’s 2016 season is focussed on being the best she can be on the track at the Olympic games in Rio, but she will be riding selected races this spring. Last weekend saw her compete in the Omnium, at the World Championships in London - along with Australian teammate Nettie Edmondson - where she finished in sixth place.
The Belgian Champion is looking forward to reliving some of the glory of last year’s Ronde van Drenthe on Saturday, however.
“I will try to make [Drenthe] as awesome as last year but honestly I don’t know what to expect,” she said. “I will have to wait and see how my legs react after so much track time. We have a very strong team and I’m convinced that we can pull off a great team result together. I’m excited to be back and super motivated for Saturday!”
D’hoore will be reunited in the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team with Australian Chloe Hosking, whose blistering leadout pulled the Belgian Champion so far clear of her rivals last year. Hosking has herself been in superb form this season so far, with a victory in the final stage of February’s Tour of Qatar.
Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emma Johansson is another rider on form so far this season, with back to back podiums in Le Samyn and the Strade Bianche this week. The Swedish Champion is also a former winner of the Ronde van Drenthe, having taken the 2009 edition, and finished on the podium in 2012 and 2013.
The black and orange squad will be completed by the Italian duo of Elisa Longo Borghini and former two-time road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini, who both did so much to set up D’hoore’s victory last year, and the Netherlands’ Amy Pieters, who finished the race in second place behind the Belgian Champion.
Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team for the Ronde van Drenthe
Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), Jolien D’hoore (Belgium), Chloe Hosking (Australia), Emma Johansson (Sweden),Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy), Amy Pieters (Netherlands)
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse
Slovakian alpine skier narrowly beats Millie Knight to capture gold photo Getty Images