Road world champion Amalie Dideriksen sprinted to third on the final stage of Healthy Ageing Tour on Sunday. A 64-rider bunch contested the finale after a trio of riders, including Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team’s Christine Majerus, was swept up with five kilometres to race.
“The goal was for the general classification,” said Majerus. “I gave it everything and did most of the work in the break. Think it would have been different if everyone was sharing turns.”
“I’m happy with the podium but we were trying to take over the yellow jersey,” said Dideriksen, echoing the Luxembourgish champion’s sentiments. “We put up a good fight with Christine in the break really early. At one point, it looked like it would go right. When it got caught, we had to go for the sprint. I got the inside of the corner, so I had to brake really hard, but a podium, I can be happy with that.”
Majerus was one of four Boels-Dolmans riders within 90 seconds of the race lead at the start of stage five. She slipped off the front on the opening lap of the eight-lap circuit race in Borkum and spent more than half of 110-kilometre escape as virtual race leader.
“In the end, all the work didn’t amount to much,” said Majerus. “I can chalk it up as a good training day, so it wasn’t a waste. We were five kilometres too short to stay away, and with the bunch sprint, there were no changes on the general classification.”
Olympic road champion Anna van der Breggen closed out the week in second overall behind Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb). The top two remained unchanged following the opening stage individual time trial.
“Unfortunately the team time trial gaps didn’t count,” said Majerus, in reference to the 31-seconds Boels-Dolmans put into Sunweb during their winning ride on stage two. “If those gaps had counted, these last few days would have been very different.”
While Majerus lamented what could have been on the final day, it was an undeniably successful week for Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team. The Dutch-registered squad won three stage of six stages and took out the team classification.
“We did a really good Healthy Ageing Tour,” said Dideriksen. “We can’t complain with so many stage wins. We fought until the end. It didn’t go our way, but we tried.”
“For sure we were the strongest here,” Majerus added. “We were the most aggressive, and we really raced our bikes every single day.”