Former Australian criterium champion Sarah Roy took her first victory of the season today in the Boels Rental Ladies Tour by winning the sprint from a breakaway group of 14 riders that stayed away to the finish line.
The strong group formed within the first 40kilometres of the race and rode out to a five-minute advantage with Tayler Wiles and Roy present for ORICA-AIS.
Roy, known for her explosive power, waited patiently before opening up her sprint at the perfect moment to claim her first ever victory for the Australian outfit.
“It was unreal today, it was one of those races that went perfectly for us all day,” Roy said after her win. “I was pretty confident coming into the final, I had Gene Bates on the radio telling me to back myself and for once I got my timing right and didn’t panic.”
“I didn’t let the nerves get the better of me, I waited and waited and didn’t get intimidated as I knew there were a lot of fast girls in the group.
“So much luck is involved with sprinting. It hasn’t been working for me in the last few races but it all came together today and it is my first win for the team which is so special.
“We worked so well together all day and Tayler was awesome in the final. It’s so much fun when you win with such great teammates but also friends.”
Roy has finished on the podium numerous times throughout the season but has been unable to clinch a victory until today, in what was a performance sport director Gene Bates described as ‘textbook’.
“Both the girls were awesome today,” said Bates. “There were some really quick girls in the group, and with 14 riders there we thought it would be best if we could split it and put the odds in our favour by having two riders there.”
“Both the girls tried a few times coming into the final to try and get away but the group wanted to keep it together. Tayler did a great job leading out and Roy timed it perfectly to take the win. A textbook victory.”
How it happened:
After a hard and hilly stage yesterday, riders welcomed a typically Dutch flat race for today’s stage four of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour.
Immediately as the start flag was dropped, the race kicked off with aggressive racing, attacks and high speeds which caused the large peloton to fragment.
The bunch eventually settled and all the riders returned to one large peloton before a strong group of 14 riders began to break away. Due to the narrow and twisty roads, the group was able to set a rapid pace and quickly move out of the peloton’s sight.
The front riders included a good representation from most teams so they were given freedom and worked well together to open up an advantage of four minutes.
Once the front lead group entered the final 25kilometres and held a comfortable five-minute lead over the peloton, riders began to attack in an attempt to form a new smaller front group.
Both Roy and Wiles attacked to try and split the breakaway but were unsuccessful as the group edged closer to the finishing line.
Holding her nerve in the final sprint, Roy launched out of the wheels to claim an impressive victory for stage four.
Tomorrow’s penultimate stage is 115kilometres in length and likely to be another aggressive day of Dutch racing.
Boels Rental Ladies Tour stage 4 results:
1. Sarah Roy (ORICA-AIS) 2:45:38
2. Evy Kuijpers (Jan Van Arkcel) ST
3. Suzanne Andersen (Team Scandinavia) ST
General Classification after stage 4:
1. Chantal blaak (Boels-Dolmans) 9:18:05
2. Ellen Van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) +0:11
3. Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels-Dolmans) +0:33
15. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-AIS) +2:24