Van Dijk blows opposition away in wind-affected TT

Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) reigned supreme in the modifed time trial at Stage 2 of the Healthy Ageing Tour, raced on road bikes amidst blustery conditions in the Netherlands.

Healthy Ageing Tour Women, Ellen van Dijk, Trek-Segafredo

Ellen van Dijk of Trek-Segafredo takes out the win in the 2nd stage of the Healthy Ageing Tour Source: Getty / Getty Images

Van Dijk has long been an exponent of the time trial, she's now taken 33 wins in the discipline over her long career in the sport, though this will go down as one of the more unusual.

Extreme weather delayed the race, pushing off the start by four hours, and when the strong winds refused to yield, another hour delay was added and the decision was made to race with road bikes rather than the more wind-susceptible TT rigs. 

“It was a very hectic day,” said Van Dijk. “There was a lot of discussion about whether the race had to go on, and then if we could race our TT bikes, all these kinds of questions. There were lots of different opinions, but in the end, it was good that the decision was made.”

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“Of course, I was disappointed that I could not ride my TT bike and we had to change around to the road bike, but the team did really well with last-minute changes with the gearing and my position a bit. We only had an hour to do all this."

The exposed, flat course was straight-forward, seven kilometres out into a headwind, turn around, and seven kilometers back on the same road, this time with a tailwind.

“I am just happy that I could win this time trial,” said Van Dijk. "I was looking forward to this day, especially after I put a lot of work on my TT bike last winter. I may not have gotten the result of that today, but I made good power, and I am happy with the performance.”

Out on course, van Dijk finished with an impressive 26 seconds gap over second-placed Amy Pieters (SD-Worx) blasting over the course as the only rider to go under 21 minutes. 

“I was a bit worried because when I was riding the winds were like 55km/h and in the end, with the last riders, it was 40km/h. I saw they were much faster at the turnaround point because they didn’t have a much headwind as I had, but then they also had less tailwind. So the difference was made on the way back,” explained Van Dijk.

Van Dijk, a three-time winner of the Healthy Ageing Tour, takes the leader’s jersey and a 23-second buffer into the final day, a grueling, technical circuit race over the VAM climb.

“For tomorrow, we have quite a good gap – over 20 seconds – but tomorrow everything can happen. It’s a very open race, a different race again with a lot of climbing and it will be a lot of interval efforts," said van Dijk. "We are going to give all we have to keep this jersey of course. It will be exciting; I am in good shape and I am looking forward to it. We will see what we can do tomorrow."




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3 min read
Published 12 March 2021 at 8:37am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS