Elise Delzenne third at BeNeLadies Tour
The third edition of the BeNeLadies Tour finished on Sunday with a stage in and around Zelzate. Elise Delzenne sprinted to the third place, that’s also her position on GC.
Ilona Hoeksma and Vera Koedooder, teammates at Parkhotel Valkenburg, were riding in front for a long time but got caught in the last kilometre. Jolien D’hoore won, ahead of Marta Tagliaferro. Elise Delzenne got third. D’hoore, who won three of the four stages, became the overall winner. Elise Delzenne is third overall, at 38 seconds. She is only one second down on the number two: Floortje Mackaij. At the first intermediate sprint Delzenne gained three bonus seconds and four at the finish, but that wasn’t enough to get passed Mackaij on GC.”
Elise Delzenne: “It’s a pity I missed out on the second place with only one second, but I am satisfied with this third place. If you had told me three days ago that I would end up on the podium I would have signed for it. Today there were some dangerous parts on the route and it was a nervous race. The girls did a great job for me and really motivated me. They were a huge support. It’s great that I got third on the stage, it’s a reward for their hard work. I really wanted to give them something back. I’m proud of them. This third place is not just my podium place, but the podium place of the entire team.”
“The first stage was the hardest one. There were cobbles, a strong wind and echelons. About forty riders were left in the first group, five of our team. That first day was already important. The next important step was my strong time trial yesterday. I set the third time. And today I got third in the sprint, I’m glad I showed my capacities again.”
“I already had several disappointments this season. The World Track Championships at the beginning of March were a big goal of mine, but I fractured my pelvis. I needed a long rehabilitation period. Afterwards I set strong results, but I wasn’t selected for the Olympics (Elise is a reserve, LTS). At the French Road Race Championships I was riding solo in front at 25 kilometres from the finish, with a lead of 1’50”, when I had two punctures. I could kiss the title goodbye. I feel stronger than ever, but the luck hasn’t been on my side so far. In this race I set another good performance. Next week I’ll ride La Course, where we’ll aim for a podium place with the team.”