Superior Reijnhout wins Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
Rosita Reijnhout has won the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The 19-year-old rider from Team Visma | Lease a Bike held off Dominika Włodarczyk and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig in a nail-biting finish. It was Reijnhout's first victory in a WorldTour race.
The final race on Australian soil, with start and finish in Geelong, remained closed for a long time. Despite several attacks, there was no real breakaway. In the run-up to the local lap in Geelong, with the double climb of the Challambra Crescent, the young yellow-black formation rode in front on several occasions.
On the first climb of the Challambra Crescent, the race broke wide open, and many riders were dropped. A depleted peloton, including Maud Oudeman, Lieke Nooijen and Reijnhout, then took on the second climb of the Australian hill. Reijnhout gave everything she had and went up with the best. A few kilometres before the finish, she attacked. The chasers couldn't catch her, so she crossed the line alone. Nienke Veenhoven also won the points classification.
"I still can't believe it"
"The plan was to attack on the first climb today”, the young rider said. "It didn't quite work out, but I felt good. I went with my gut, and when Ludwig attacked, I went after her. When she slowed down, I saw an opportunity to attack. I quickly gained a few metres, and I gave everything for the win. It's great that it worked out, thanks to the good work of the team. I still can't believe it.”
The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race marks the end of the Australian adventure for the riders of Team Visma | Lease a Bike. "It has been a great experience. I learned a lot, and we grew closer as a team. We also did a great job in the races and came home with two wins. Although these have been great weeks, I am also looking forward to returning to the Netherlands soon to celebrate my victory with my family”, a delighted Reijnhout said.
For Team Visma | Lease a Bike Women, this is the first WorldTour victory of the season. The team's next race is the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana on 15 February.