• Amy Pieters wins the sprint against Alexis Ryan with Chloe Hosking in the background at the 2018 Ronde Van Drenthe (Getty)Source: Getty
Dutch fans had plenty to cheer about at its women's WorldTour race, Ronde van Drenthe as Dutchwoman Amy Pieters delivered victory for Dutch team Boels Dolmans. Australia's Chloe Hosking (Ale Cipollini) finished third.
Cycling Central

UCI, Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team, Mitchelton-Scott
12 Mar 2018 - 11:44 AM  UPDATED 13 Mar 2018 - 5:30 AM

Pieters outsprinted Alexis Ryan (Canyon SRAM) for victory while Hosking was gapped slightly by the pair to beat home the rest of the reduced main bunch. 

“I won today, but I don’t think that I fully realise it yet,” said Pieters. "I really wanted to win a big race at one point. I never managed to do so in recent years. I did have good races, but the victory wasn’t always there. I am very happy with the win today!”

It was American Ryan's second podium after her win at Friday's Drentse Acht van Westerveld.

Pieters finished 28th at that race, with Hosking finishing again in third. Despite her obvious frustration at another podium place but not a win in the type of racing she relishes, Hosking was still able to provide her typically articulate insight and analysis: 

But the disappointment was still etched across her face and voice. 

"I'm pretty over finishing second and third is how I'm feeling," Hosking said in her interview with Voxwomen. 

"Amy and Alexis were two of the strongest riders today, I'm not beaten by nobodies.

"I feel like so close all the time so it's pretty frustrating but you know Sagan finishes second all the time." 

While the bunch may have been somewhat reduced at the business end, four times traversing the man-made VAM-berg climb failed to do its expected damage. Organisers also decided mid-race to take out the final two sectors of cobbles.  

A crash in the final kilometres of the race ensured Mitchelton-Scott was unable to contest the final sprint, but until then had raced perfectly. 

“It’s a bit frustrating," Jolien d’Hoore, who finished 11th, said. "We got stuck after a crash with two kilometres to go. There was a gap and I lost my teammates at that point. I closed the gap with 1km to go but I was too far to sprint.”

Mitchelton-Scott roughed up the race after the VAM-berg climbs instigating several attacks. 

"The bunch split up a little through the last cobble section and afterwards with attacks from us and other teams," Gracie Elvin said. "But the speed was so high in the bunch that nothing was staying away for very long.

"I got away on my own with a lap and a half to go but I needed some more riders with me!"

Australian national road race champion Shannon Malseed was also caught up in a crash, coming early in the race and saw her abandon her first Ronde van Drenthe (ed-she was not seriously injured). But Malseed's Team Tibco-Silcon Valley Bank won the QOM classification with Alison Jackson.    

Australia's Zak Dempster (Israel Cycling Academy) finished a strong fourth in the men's Ronde van Drenthe behind Frantisek Sisr (CCC Sprandi), Dries de Bondt (Verandas) and Preben van Hecke (Sport Vlaanderen). 

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