Keep up to date with all of the latest results from the UK’s most successful women’s pro cycling team Le Col – Wahoo. #Colourtheroad.
The 2022 race season is in full flow. Once again Ribble is proud to be the technical partner of the UK’s leading women’s cycling team Le Col-Wahoo. Stay tuned to keep up to date with all of the latest results from what is sure to be an action-packed season of racing. A season that begins with a hectic schedule of iconic spring classics, including Dwars Door Vlaanderen, Tour of Flanders Paris-Roubaix Femmes, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, La Fleche Wallone and more.
GP Ecostruct – 7th May
After a couple of weeks to recover from their awesome exploits during the spring classics, it was a successful return to action in Belgium. Maike van der Duin picking up another top-5 finish against world-tour opposition. They didn’t have it all their own way, however. At the start of the 136.4km race, the plan was to ride in support of Majo who would then go on to contest the day’s anticipated sprint finish.
Like all best-laid plans, however, they are subject to the vagaries of professional bike racing. With only the final corner to negotiate, everything had gone to plan. The teamwork had paid dividends and Majo was perfectly placed to open up the sprint. the disaster struck, Majo had crashed. Cue plan b – which now saw Maike switch from last lead ou rider to the main hope for the day.
Considering the circumstances, 5th place was a highly successful outcome and one which the team can be mightily proud of.
Liege>Bastogne>Liege – 24th April
Le Col Wahoo signed off the classics season with La Doyenne – the old lady of the classics. Bathed in the spring sunshine, the peloton lined up for the start in Bastogne, faced with a 142.1km course that included seven categorised climbs. With the plan to be aggressive from the off, Flora Perkins made it into the day’s early break. Indeed it was Flora that led the breakaway of 4 riders over the first categorised climb of the Côte de Mont-le-Soie with 55.3km of the race completed.
However, when the breakaway quartet was caught on the slopes of the Côte de la Haute-Levée there was still fully half of the race remaining. From here on in, it was a case of ensuring that Lizzi Holden was well-placed ahead of the much-anticipated selection of pre-race favourites in the race’s latter stages. It was the slopes of La Redoute that was to prove the pivotal point of the day. Annemiek Van Vleuten’s solo attack blew the peloton apart and Le Col amonst many others missed the final selection.
In fact, such was the severity of the attack, only 6 riders out of the 100+ that started finished within a minute of race-winner van Vleuten. With riders left strewn along the course, Anna Christian was first to cross the line in 43rd. It was perhaps not the result that this young group of climbers wanted. However, it provides them with the invaluable experience of racing against the world’s elite in cycling’s biggest races.
With the spring classics done and dusted, Le Col-Wahoo now prepares for a new phase of racing. Commencing with the GP Eco Struct in Belgium on the 7th of May. But for now, it’s a time to rest and reflect upon what can only be construed as a hugely impressive classics season. Thanks to numerous top-10 finishes, they now find themselves ranked 13th in the world and a top-3 best Continental team. Now that’s something to celebrate!
Flèche Wallonne Féminine – 20th April
Le Col-Wahoo must have been left wondering what they had done to upset the cycling gods at the conclusion of the 25th edition of La Flèche Wallone Femmes. Despite riding strongly throughout the majority of the race, the team was beset by ill fortune in its latter stages. The day’s plan was to ride for Lizzie Holden and Alice Towers and with only 50km to go, the plan looked to be working perfectly.
However, lady luck was not smiling and Lizzie when informed the team over the radio that she felt unwell all attention switched to Alice. Despite the setback, the team worked to ensure that Alcie remained with the leading group. However with 15km to go the race unravelled as an unfortunate mechanical put paid to Aklice’s chances. It seemed a scant reward for the team’s efforts but that’s the unpredictability of cycling for you.
They now move on to La Doyenne on Sunday and maybe some heartfelt pleas to the cycling gods for some good luck would not go amiss!!
Paris – Roubaix Femmes – 16th April
With passion, fire and no little spirit, each rider from Le Col Wahoo got to experience that extra special feeling of riding around the fabled concrete track of the Roubaix velodrome. Sure, they might not have secured the result that they wanted, but they had prevailed amidst some of the most brutal racing conditions imaginable. As each rider crossed the line; bruised, battered and exhausted from the seemingly endless sectors of pavé, coated in a layer of dust, they must have felt like giants.
Paris – Roubaix is regarded as the Queen of the classics, the last of cycling’s ‘fabled monuments’. It’s one of the races that have an extra-special place in the hearts of all cycling enthusiasts worldwide. Its nickname of the ‘hell of the north’ is well earned and is indicative of the challenge that awaits any rider that is brave enough to take it on. It is the iconic sections of pavé that imbue this race with its almost mythical status of being cyclings’ toughest one day race.
The second-ever edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes covered a total distance of 124.7km. Starting in Denain, it featured 17 cobbled sectors for a total of 29.2km of pavé on the way to the Roubaix velodrome. However, even before they reached the cobbled sectors disaster struck for Le Col Wahoo. Team leader Majo van’t Geloof’s voice crackled over the airwaves that she had crashed and needed a bike change.
In any normal race, this would not normally present much of a challenge. But on the narrow dust-choked lanes of Roubaix, this was nigh on impossible. Though Majo thankfully managed to ride on, she would never see the front of the race again. Further misfortune was to strike within a handful of km as yet another crash fatally delayed riders for the team.
They could be forgiven for thinking at that point that Roubaix had it in for them. However, the cobbled sectors play no favourites and many a rider fell victim to the tricky conditions. On a day of ill fortune, all but one rider from Le Col Wahoo suffered the misfortune of a puncture or crash. It’s seldom fun for those involved, But for the spectator, it is the sheer unpredictability of it all that makes the hell of the north so captivating.
Tata was the first rider to make it to the velodrome, finishing just outside the top 30 in 37th. Majo and Gladys finished together some 2 minutes later with April just making it within the time limit. After their earlier efforts for the team Flora and Eluned, both missed the cut off meaning that they did not officially finish the race. Their emotions as they soaked up the adulation of the crown in this famous old velodrome say otherwise. They had conquered the cobbles of Roubaix, and they will be back for more.
De Brabantse Pijl – 13th April
With the Ardennes classics on their radar, Le Col Wahoo arrived at the race in search of some valuable preparation. At 141.2km in length and featuring no less than 24 climbs it was certain to prove a thought test. And so it proved. The race started in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw before heading to Overijse for some 21.9km finishing circuits. Each of these local circuits included the punishing climbs of the S-Bocht Overijse, Hagaard, Hertsraat, Moskestraat and Holstheide.
Aggressive from the off, it was Anna Christian who set the early tempo. Soloing away from the main bunch only to be reeled back in with 85km of the race remaining. Alice Towers and Lizzie Holden then tried their luck, but it was to little avail. The real damage was done when the race reached the seemingly endless ascents of the local circuits.
When the big teams made their move, the race split up into multiple groups. Perhaps feeling the aftereffects of their earlier efforts, Lizzie found herself in the 2nd group and Alice in the third. The punishing pace took its toll, however. Lizzie was the only rider to make the finish line, almost 7 minutes in arrears in 36th. In fact, the race’s attrition rate meant that of the 235 riders who lined up for the start, only 61 of them made the finish at all!
Amstel Gold – 10th April
The team’s continued progression and outstanding consistency have resulted in invites to cycling’s biggest races. This weekend saw Le Col Wahoo begin their assault on the Ardennes classics, starting with Amstel Gold. The riders were greeted with a sunny but cold start in Maastricht. The 128.5km course featured 19 named ascents and meandered through the South Limburg region of the Dutch-German border.
The plan was to stay in contention throughout, ensuring that Lizzie was well placed if it came to a sprint. They started on the front foot with Maike getting herself into the day’s early break. However, the lead was to prove short-lived. As they were caught various riders counterattacked to eventually form a group of 10. This was as formidable a group as they come, consisting of world tour heavyweights Annemiek Van Vleuten, Kasia Niewiadoma, Lucinda Brand, Demi Vollering and numerous others.
But with SD Worx appearing to be unwilling to work they were caught with approximately 60km to go. Van Vleuten, however, had other ideas and continued to ride which enabled another break to form. As the leaders reached the first of the 3 closing laps they number eight and by the Bemelerburg had a lead of just over a minute.
From here on in, the race was perpetuated by attacks. With riders continually going clear only for the peloton being driven by SD Worx to drag them back. As the final lap began to take shape, Lizzie among others tried to thin the ranks. However, it was the final ascent of the Cauberg that was always going to prove pivotal.
On its lower slopes, the pre-race favourites set the race alight. Olympic time trial champion Van Vleuten launched her trademark attack. Such was the intensity of the attack that only one other rider could stay on her wheel. But as the gradients lessened their breakaway companions made contact once more. With all eyes on Van Vleuten, eventual race winner Cavalli (Nouvelle FDJ) launched a surprise attack down the left side of the road that caught everyone napping.
It was to prove decisive and she crossed the line 4 seconds clear of Demi Vollering. With the rest of the top 10 made up of the rest of the break, the first big group to cross the line did so 29 seconds later. It was a group that contained Lizzie and Eider. The result earned Lizzie a top 20 finish, which considering the calibre of the opposition was another hugely impressive result for this hugely talented team. Le Col Wahoo continues to show the cycling world that they are there on merit and are from being there simply to make up the numbers.
Scheldeprijs Vrouwen Elite – 6th April
One thing we love about this sport of ours is that you can never predict the outcome of a race. There are so many factors that come into play, even the best-laid plans can come to nought. Such was the case for Le Col Wahoo on the pan flat roads of suburban Antwerp. The 138km course was tailor-made for a bunch sprint and despite 3 riders being clear for the majority of the day, it never looked like ending in anything but a mass sprint.
The sprinter’s teams never looked like losing control of the race and when they made the catch inside 5km everyone prepared for a fast-paced, lung-buster of a finale. With a strong sprint contingent themselves, it was a situation that seemed to suit the Le Col Wahoo perfectly. Heading into the finishing straight the team was perfectly placed thanks to the efforts of Flora and Eluned.
This left the fast finishing duo of Majo and Tata to deliver Maike to the line. Until now everything had gone like clockwork. However, the mechanics of sprinting mean that the smallest mistake can often prove fatal. With 100mm to go Maike opened up the taps and lit the afterburners.
Another top-5 finish looked certain before disaster struck. Her right foot unclipped and the loss of momentum meant that she crossed the line 13th. An absolute heartbreaker for the team after their efforts to deliver the perfect lead-out. Next up is the Amstel Gold race where they will hope for a little more luck if it comes down to a sprint.
Tour of Flanders – 3rd April
As one of the five ‘monuments,’ the Tour of Flanders is one of cycling’s greatest spectacles. On a 159.8km course that featured 11 climbs and 6 cobbled sectors, Le Col Wahoo showed their mettle, riding aggressively from the off. Tata got herself into the day’s early break. As a group of 4, Tata and her breakaway companions worked to establish a lead that rose to as much as 4 minutes before entering the hilly section.
The cobbled climb of Kerkgate proved too much for the sprinter, however, and Tata found herself distanced. It was left to Maike to take up the mantle and along with 2 riders for company, she bridged across to the front of the race. It was Maike that led the leading quintet over the iconic Koppenberg, but behind the chase was on.
With 36km to go, Maike distanced her fellow riders on the slopes of the Taaienberg but with a rampaging peloton catching up with each revolution of the pedal her days were numbered. Succumbing to the inevitable, Maike sat up to be absorbed into the bunch. It was then left to the pre-race favourites to battle it out for the victory.
Lotte Kopecky delighted the home fans by taking the sprint win whilst wearing the Belgian champion’s jersey. Lizzie Holden was first across the line for Le Col Wahoo, finishing 21st. When you consider the calibre of the riders who finished in the same group this was an incredible ride from the British rider. These included Marianne Vos, Demi Vollering and Emma Norgaard no less.
After her earlier heroics, Maike crossed the line a further 2:30 minutes down in a group that also contained Alice. Both riders finished 35th and 41st respectively. Majo was next across the line after putting in a huge amount of work for the team early on. Similarly, the efforts of Tata and Gladys also took their toll with both riders failing to finish. All in all an excellent day’s racing from the team.
Dwars Door Vlaanderen – 30th March
With most of the rider’s attention being focused on the Ardennes classics, Dwars Door Vlaanderen was always going to provide them with some vital preparation. At 120km in length, featuring no less than 10 climbs and with cobbles thrown into the mix, it’s no walk in the park.
A day that started out with so much promise, unfortunately, ended in disappointment. At the most inopportune of moments, Gladys Verhulst suffered a mechanical that saw her ruled out of contention. Thankfully all was not lost for April Tacey and Alice Towers both made it into the main bunch when the race split for the first time.
With various riders looking to drive the pace on the pavé, the race blew apart in spectacular fashion. Riders were left strewn all along the course, leaving a select group of 26 riders to contest a sprint that ultimately decided the race. Like many, April and Alice found themselves distanced and finished safely within the main bunch. Next up is one of the monuments – the Tour of Flanders!
Gent Wevelgem – 27th March
While not one of cycling’s great monuments, Gent Wevelgem is one of the highest-profile classics on the calendar. At 159km in length, and featuring the fearsome climb of the Kemmelberg, it traditionally takes a heavy toll, even on cycling’s finest talents. A fact that was borne out by only 3 of the original 6 Le Col-Wahoo riders making it to the finish line.
The race started under the hallowed arch of the Menin Gate in the heart of Flanders fields. As is often the way with the majority of cycle races almost as soon as the flag was dropped riders immediately chanced their arm and formed a breakaway. It was a pattern that was to define the race, as breaks went away and were reeled back in.
With 12km to go the decisive split of the day occurred and the peloton was split asunder. With fully half of the bunch dropped and out of contention. Sadly for Le-Col Wahoo their remaining riders were caught out by the split and finished in a second group that came in over 5 minutes down. Maike was best placed in 50th.
A tough day at the office for all concerned but the team head to Dwars Door Vlaanderen full of confidence after an excellent classics season so far.
Bruge – De Panne – 23rd March
Tata Martin sprints to 5th place at the longest race on the tour, Brugge-De Pannes. Another strong day for the team saw the Portuguese national champion well placed for the final sprint for the line. It was yet another race that was marred by multiple crashes that saw the field gradually eroded and splits formed and continually closed.
April Tacey kicked things off for Le Col Wahoo, going clear with five other riders early on. But it was always likely to be short-lived, with the big teams working industriously to bring any break back. Sure enough, April’s group was reeled back in with 75km to go only for another group to take upon the mantle. With 62km to go, a rider moving up the peloton in the gutter crashed and major was an unfortunate victim.
Thankfully there was little damage done and Majo climbed back on to do her part in securing another excellent result for the high flying team. Another huge crash on the final lap whittled down the field to 50 riders. With most of the team handicapped by the crash, it was left to Majo and Tata to decide who would contest the sprint.
With Tata getting the nod, it was Majo’s duty to get the sprinter to the line. Finding themselves perfectly placed, Majo dropped the hammer to provide the perfect lead-out for Tata to launch her sprint. With her job done, Majo peeled off, leaving Tata to find the perfect wheel in order to engage the afterburners and rocket to a fantastic 5th place.
Nokere Koerse Voor Dammes – 16th March
If there was a prize of consistency surely it would be awarded to team Le Col Wahoo as they racked up yet another top-5 finish against the world’s best. It was very much a day of mixed fortunes in a race that was marred by a series of crashes. The worst affected was Jesse unfortunately, a crash at 48km clearly left her in some distress. Glady’s return to action also ended in a crash but thankfully resulted in no serious injuries.
The rest of the team very much rode on the front foot with Maike and Lizzie in particular active in trying to get into a break. However, when it became clear that it was headed for another bunch sprint the team began to work for Majo. With the final ramp of the Nokereberg forming the final run to the line it was a finish that favoured the rouleurs rather than pure sprinters.
Majo powered up the lung-busting cobbled ascent to sprint to 5th place, another exceptional result from a team that shows great promise for the season to come. Unfortunately, it was confirmed post-race that Jesse had sustained substantial injuries. two broken ribs and stitches in her hand will keep her out of the action for a while. We hope to see her back on the bike and back in the thick of the action soon.
Drentse Acht van Westerveld – 11th March
Another week, another top-5 finish for riders from Le Col Wahoo. Though not officially riding for their trade team, Maike and Majo once again showed that their early season form has been no fluke. Representing the Netherlands team, neither rider managed to make it into the definitive break of the day. But Maike did finish best of the rest when sprinting to 5th place from the second group on the road. Majo crossed the line 20th and capped another hugely impressive display from the Dutch powerhouses.
GP Oetingen dames Élites – 9th March
Le Col Wahoo’s strong start to the season continued with another terrific top-10 finish in Belgium. This time it was the turn of Portuguese national champ Tata Martins to contest the sprint victory. The team set out with the intention of being aggressive and looked to force the pace in the hopes of creating a break.
However, it was clear early in the proceedings that the teams with big sprinters in their midst were intent on keeping the race together. Little leeway was given to any breakaway attempt and as each was nullified the race settled down to the now inevitable bunch sprint. But with 2km to go, there was a worrying moment as Tata lost contact on the day’s final climb.
Fortunately, she could rely on the combined efforts of Jesse Vandenbucke and Lizzie Holden to guide her back to the sharp end of the race. Their reward was another well-deserved top-10 finish with Tata crossing the line 8th. Jesse and Lizzie’s late heroics meant that they crossed the line 16th and 22nd respectively. It continues the team’s impressive run of a top-10 placing in each of their races this season.
Bloeizone Fryslân Tour – 3rd to 5th March
Stage 3 – 137km Drachten to Drachten
Maike secured her 2nd top-10 finish in as many days as she sprints to 6th place in a bunch sprint. The final stage consisted of two laps of a circuit that started and ended in Drachten. Though a rider went clear at the start of the second lap, the sprinter’s teams were not to be denied. A repetition of the previous days’ racing, Maike once again proved that she is a force to be reckoned with, even against the world’s best. Another great team effort ensured that Lizzie finished within the main bunch and in doing so protected her top 10 on GC. Job done, as her 9th place finish overall was a worthy reward for the team’s efforts over the 3 days of racing.
Stage 2 – 125km Eastermar to Bakkeveen
It was a team performance of epic proportions that saw Maike Van der Duin claim 4th place on a pan-flat stage two. It had all the hallmarks of being a classic Dutch style race with strong crosswinds providing the ingredients for various race splitting moves. However, in spite of the conditions, the race remained largely intact until about halfway through the stage. Though it split in two it was large altogether heading into the closing kilometres.
With 16km to go, a lone rider made her bid for victory, but Le Col – Wahoo in concert with Jumbo Visma and Canyon-SRAM worked to bring her back. In doing so it set the tone for a bunch sprint. Clearly working for their sprinters, these teams lined out the peloton and the splits started to appear as riders lost the wheels in front.
At the 2km to go mark the sprinter’s teams were all jostling for position with the aim to keep the pace high and deter any late breaks. Into the final corner, it was Le Col – Wahoo who led the way with the team set up to launch Maike for her sprint. No mean sprinter in her own right, it was clear that Majo was to be the last rider in the lead-out train. The one whom Maike would follow to the line and so it proved to be.
As Majo thundered towards the line, Maike sat on her wheel in anticipation of launching her own sprint. Slingshotting past Majo, Maike went clear in her bid for victory. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to take the win but it was nevertheless a hugely impressive performance from the team. Such was Majo’s finishing speed she still finished inside the top-20 as did Lizzie who crossed the line 20th to maintain her top 10 on GC.
Stage 1 – 14.4km Time Trial
Lizzie Holden put in a super-strong ride to finish 8th in the opening day time trial in Surhuisterveen. Formally the healthy ageing tour, Lizzie completed the 14.4km route just 1:02 down on current World Time Trial champion Ellen Van Dijk. A fantastic start to the tour and one that was backed up by a superb ride from Maike Van der Duin who crossed the line a further 25 seconds back to finish 26th.
Le Samyn des Dames – 1st March
Majo Van’t Geloof unleashed the power to claim a magnificent 6th place finish at Le Samyn des Dames. An outstanding result that saw Majo finish as the highest placed rider from outside the World Tour. As with many of the races in this corner of the world, it was one of typical attrition. Riders were faced with a 100km course that took them from Quaregnon to Dour and which was strewn with various cobbled sectors.
Notoriously difficult to traverse, it was to be these cobbled sectors that prove the difference. As the day progressed, the number of riders in the main bunch decreased as those that didn’t have the legs were gradually shaken loose. With 6km to go, Chiara Consonni (Valcar) and Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ) attacked a much-depleted bunch in the hopes of staying away until the line.
It was, however the long drag to the line that was to prove their undoing. With the gap coming down with each revolution of the wheel, pre-race favourite Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) shot past the pair to take the win. After putting in a huge effort to police the break, Tata Martins came in 5 seconds down in 22nd and Lizzie Holden 29th at 35 seconds. Next up is 3 days of racing across the border in Holland at the Bloeizone Fryslân Tour.
Omloop Van Het Hageland – 27th February
The 2nd race in as many days saw the pack shuffled slightly with Majo Van’t Geloof and Lizzie Holden being replaced by debutants Eluned King and Flora Perkins. Joining the debutants was the bulk of the previous day’s team in April Tacey, Alice Towers, Jesse Vandebulcke and Maike Van Der Duin.
The second race of the opening weekend saw the field faces with a 128km route between Tienen and Tielt-Winge. What was to follow was a typical ‘classic’ race in every sense of the word. Attacks were followed by counterattacks as each team vied to get a rider in what they hoped would be the definitive break of the day. One of the early breakaway hopefuls was Flora Perkins who soloed clear on her senior debut. It was not to be, however, and it was a quartet from the world tour teams that eventually went clear.
There were caught inside 30km to the finish, at which point a further break of 10 riders attacked in what was to prove to be the race-winning move. Though their gap was never more than 40 seconds, it proved to be sufficient. With 20km to go, the front of the race lit up with various riders trying to sneak clear. But it was all for nought as each attack was nullified. With just 800km to go, the group set up for the sprint finish which would see Marta Bastianelli of UAE take the win.
The best-placed rider for Le Col-Wahoo was Maike van der Duin who ride strongly to finish in the second group on the road. Sprinting for the minor placings, Maike rocketed across the line to finish 13th. A very promising start to the season and hopefully a foreshadowing of better things to come from a very talented team.
Omloop Het Niuewsblad Vrouwen Elite – 26th February
It was an understandably nervous start to the opening race of the 2022 season under the sunny skies of Belgium. Jesse Vandenbulcke marked her debut for the team with a creditable top 20 finish when she crossed the line in the first main group on the road. A group that also contained Lizzie Holden, finishing 25 seconds down on race winner Annemiek Van Vleuten after a successful attack just before the final climb of the Bosberg.
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