Ronde van Overijssel Women 2014 / 2 May / Rijssen
This year the Ronde van Overijssel has come up with a wonderful new initiative: a women’s race on the day before the annual men’s race. The race is 145 kilometres long with start and finish in Rijssen. The start list consisted of 123 women and 79 of them finished the race. Many UCI teams were present, such as Team Giant-Shimano, Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team, Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team, Parkhotel Valkenburg, Specialiazed-Lululemon, and Hitec Products.
Willeke Knol (GIW) won the intermediate sprint in “town of the Ronde” Vriezenveen. In Vriezenveen, three women formed a head bunch, which later on in the race would expand to five women. These women were Roxane Knetemann (RBW), Lisa Brennauer (SLU), Sara Mustonen (GIW), Estra Tromp (PHV), and Trieneke Fokkens (RMD). Roxane Knetemann (RBW) tried to get away during the final rounds in the streets of Rijssen, but 700 metres before the finish line, the others managed to chase her down. She did become the most combative rider of the day, a prize given away by the organization (see photo).
In the finale, only Lisa Brennauer from team Specialized-Lululemon was able to stay away, while the peloton with sprinter Kirsten Wild (GIW) approached rapidly. Still, Lisa Brennauer (SLU) finished 12 seconds before Kirsten Wild (GIW) and Nina Kessler (DLT). She became the first winner of the Ronde van Overijssel for women and entered the stage with a big smile on her face.
The first edition was very successful: many people came to watch the race and a lot of international riders were present. Eventually, the edition for women could turn into an important race on the women’s calendar. The riders were very enthusiastic about the course as well and winner Lisa Brennauer (SLU) hopes to return to the Ronde van Overijssel next year to defend her title.