Amy Pieters has won the Healthy Ageing Tour on Sunday in Groningen. In the final 94-kilometer criterium-style race in the city center of Groningen, her leader position was unthreatened. For Pieters this is the first stage race win in her career.
"This is a victory I’m very proud of," said Pieters. "It’s my first stage race win, but all through spring I have performed well and got results I had hoped for for years. This year it all works out. It’s very nice that we can finish it off here in Groningen. It’s been a very nice week.”
Going into the final stage, Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team occupied the entire top four in the GC. Behind leader Pieters it was the world champion Chantal Blaak in second place, Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen in thir place and Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus in fourth.
Because of the winding and narrow course, Boels-Dolmans chose to ride an aggressive race right from the start. A lead group of seven soon emerged, which included Majerus. Boels-Dolmans actively controlled the bunch behind.
"It was very hard, it was also a fairly long stage," said Pieters. "Of course, we had an ideal situation, with the lead group and us controlling behind. Of course I’m very grateful to Christine as well, for giving me the confidence that I could win here.”
"I was already very satisfied with my season thus far, but you can only win such a hard race with a great team behind you," continued Pieters. "So I'm really happy that it worked out. I owe a lot to my teammates. We have had a good week with the whole team.”
Pieters already had some nice victories on her palmares, but the results she achieved this year are off a higher class altogether. For Pieters, there isn’t a straightforward explanation why everything comes together this year.
“I have been particularly focused on the track this winter and only had road season in the back of my mind," she said. "Maybe that's why I went into road season a bit more relaxed, maybe that's why it goes better."
“But everything just works out well and the whole team is also performing good,” concluded Pieters. "That also helps. If the whole team is riding strong, then your own level is also improving.”
Because of her position in the lead group and a third place finish in the stage, behind winner Aafke Soet (WNT), Majerus eventually moved up in the GC. So in addition to Pieters as the overall winner, it was Blaak and Majerus who got to join her on the podium. Van der Breggen finished fourth.
After a short rest, the team prepares for an important spring week with the Ardennes triple, starting next Sunday with the Amstel Gold Race.