After a bunch of classic races, it is now time for a stage race. In the north of Holland the Healthy Ageing Tour starts this Wednesday. It will be five days of hard racing, with the wind probably as an important factor. For Lonneke Uneken it’s her home race. Last year she won two stages in the junior women’s edition of the race. “I have been looking forward to this week.”
Behind the Italian winner Marta Bastianelli, Vita Heine finished 18th in the Tour of Flanders. The Norwegian champion of Team Hitec Products – Birk Sport rode a good race and showed herself in front. Earlier in the race, Chanella Stougje was involved in a seven riders strong lead group that got a maximum advantage of 3.40 minutes on the peloton.
The 18 years old Norwegian rider Thale Kielland Bjerk will join Team Hitec Products – Birk Sport with immediate effect. With her signing, Bjerk is the fourth rider for the Norwegian UCI team that is born in 2000. In 2017 Bjerk ended thirtieth in the junior race of the world championships cycling in Bergen. Last year she became second in the Norwegian championships road race and won the hilly stage race Tour de Hallingdal. Bjerk will make her professional debut in de Tour of Uppsala (UCI 2.2).
Three days after Gent-Wevelgem and four days before the Tour of Flanders, the peloton raced another big Belgium race on Wednesday. In Dwars door Vlaanderen Dutch rider Ellen van Dijk won solo, after escaping from a lead group of eleven riders. In the bunch sprint Lucy Garner sprinted to the eighteenth place, while Ingvild Gaskjenn was involved in a lead group during the race.
The Women’s World Tour classic Gent-Wevelgem didn’t get Team Hitec Products – Birk Sport a result that was hoped for. It was a hard race in Belgium, with a lot of riders not making it to the finish. Lonneke Uneken, who finished second in the junior women edition of Gent-Wevelgem in 2018, was the only rider of the team who ended the race. She came in 88th place.
Already in the team since the summer of 2014, Norwegian champion Vita Heine is one of the most experienced riders of Team Hitec Products – Birk Sport. After racing the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Le Samyn des Dames, she is now up for her fourth race of the season. Next Sunday Vita will race Gent-Wevelgem. Time to meet the 34 year old rider, who won the Norwegian championships three years in a row.