Despite a crash last week that kept Olds from feeling 100%, the American powerhouse sprinter was able to finish 6th in one of the toughest European Classics. Shelley Olds was joined by teammates Valentina Scandolara, Sheyla Gutierrez, Alison Tetrick, Rachele Barbieri and Doris Schweizer for Saturday’s Ronde van Drenthe, held in Holland.
“We had some bad luck, losing two very important riders early in the race,” Olds says. “In the final, I was alone in a big pelotón and I tried to do my best in the bunch sprint. But the race was up the road in a group of four riders with every big team represented. I am still recovering from a big crash 10 days ago and I have a lot of discomfort on the bike.”
Ronde van Drenthe, the second Women’s WorldTour event of 2016, saw a 138.3km winding, hilly trek through Hoogeveen, Netherlands with the infamous man-made VAM-berg climb that has served as a launching pad for winning attacks.
Chantal Blaak of Boels Dolmans pushed the pace with 61km to go, and was joined by Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS), Trixi Worrack (Canyon SRAM), and Anna Van der Breggen, Rabo-Liv). Crashes in the chase group caused the leaders two-minute lead to hold steady, and Blaak took the win over Elvin and Worrack. Olds surged in the bunch sprint, placing 6th and continuing to prove her standing as one of the most consistent top-10 riders of the season and highest placing American.
Looking ahead to Trofeo Binda in Italy on March 20th, Cylance’s resilient riders are ready for their third round of World Tour action. “Next week is another big race and I hope we can all recover and come back ready to fight it out with the pro peloton,” says Olds.
No doubt the team will be ready to battle, as Olds consistency and fighting spirit will lead the way.