Mischa Bredewold took advantage of her strong Dutch teammates being watched and snuck away to win the 2023 European Championship road race. Her trade and national teammate Lorena Wiebes took second with the world champion Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) finished third.
- The day started off on the wrong foot when race organizers took the peloton off course in the neutral section, adding a few extra kilometres to the race.
- Unsurprisingly it was the Dutch who controlled the entirety of the race. From the beginning, it looked like the strongest team was set to help 2022 champion Wiebes to back-to-back European titles. Riejanne Markus and Bredewold were on the attack early in the circuits and could be seen collecting bottles for Wiebes, and Loes Adegeest did a lot of work to bring back a threatening group of three that slipped away in the final 50 km.
- The first time the world champion was seen was with 19 km to go when her trade teammate Marlen Reusser attacked, before the penultimate summit of the Col du VAM. Reusser’s next attack with 14.8 km to go caught the Dutch off guard, the Italians were the ones to match it with Elisa Balsamo, and then Pfeiffer Georgi (Great Britain) joined the two. With only a lap to go, the attack from the Suisse rider was devastating for the peloton and forced the Dutch to mobilize again. It was a cool moment when the peloton caught the leaders, with the work being done by Vollering who has been the rider of the season, winning all three Ardennes Classics, the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, and others. Once the move was caught it was clear the peloton was shattered and would not come back together.
- Bredewold took advantage of the fractured peloton and the pace of the race to attack. It wasn’t your standard go from the back, but rather a super interesting move that only works once in a blue moon (see above).
- With just under 10 km to go the group behind stalled, with only Kasia Niewiadoma (Poland) reacting a kilometre later. Bredewold’s advantage grew to 18 seconds quickly and continued to grow as Reusser and the Italians looked at each other.
- The Dutch rider held only 11 seconds as she turned into the final ascent of the Col du VAM with Kopecky, Liane Lippert (Germany), and Wiebes close behind. Kopecky eventually kicked, taking Wiebes with her, but the two were not fast enough to catch the 23-year-old Bredewold who finished comfortably ahead to take the title.
Quote of the day
In case you didn’t know Bredewold’s favorite Taylor Swift song is Wildest Dreams. Well, it might go without saying that it would be a fitting soundtrack for her day on Saturday.
I think I’m still dreaming, I really can’t believe it…The moment I came to the top of the VAM with the cobbled part, then I was thinking ‘fuck, I really have to push up this last one because maybe I win it’. [This jersey] means everything.
Up next: Tour of Chongming Island, October 12-14
A lot of the peloton will be done now that Europeans are over, but not the sprinters and teams with the quickest women.
The three-day Tour of Chongming Island is a race tailor-made for sprinters. Cancelled for three years due to COVID-19, the race finally returns to close out the 2023 Women’s WorldTour calendar along with the one-day Tour of Guangxi.
Lorena Wiebes won all three stages and the overall in 2019, but it’s unclear if the powerhouse sprinter will be present at the newest edition. Her main rival Charlotte Kool is likely to be there and is keen to add to her growing list of victories this season.
Expect more information on Escape Collective once we get closer to the event.
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