Van der Duin on RideLondon Classique attack: 'We needed to take the initiative'

Maike van der Duin (Canyon-SRAM)
Maike van der Duin (Canyon-SRAM) (Image credit: Getty)

Maike van der Duin (Canyon-SRAM) came close to winning stage 2 of the RideLondon Classique with her attack 11 km from the finish in Maldon, but the short, steep climb up Market Hill was too much for her.

What remained of the chase group after a late crash went past her on the climb. The 21-year-old Dutchwoman finished 17th herself but could still celebrate after the stage as her teammate Chloé Dygert won the sprint.

“I attacked after quite a hard section of the race. Other teams were attacking, and I felt like we needed to take the initiative," Van der Duin explained to Cyclingnews.

"We were there with 3 riders, Chloé [Dygert], Soraya [Paladin], and myself, because of the work of our teammates earlier in the race. It was not a team tactic to attack at that particular moment, but I saw an opportunity and went,”

The race had been on for a while by that point, with a group of 33 splitting off the front of the peloton and a high pace in this group. The final time up North Hill, Simone Boilard (St Michel-Mavic-Auber93) and Anna Henderson (Team Jumbo-Visma) put the pressure on.

Racing on instinct, Van der Duin decided that it was time for her to attack despite having a very good sprint herself that brought her podium finishes in the Ronde van Drenthe and Gent-Wevelgem earlier this year.

As the group was slow to react, the young Dutchwoman could quickly increase her advantage in pursuit of what would have been her first pro victory. But in the final two kilometres, the chase group came closer and closer and wasn’t slowed down by a crash either, spelling the end of Van der Duin’s solo.

“It would have been a dream if it worked out, but all I was focused on was going as hard as possible. It motivates me that one day this type of move will work out,” she said.

However, her attack was not in vain as it allowed her teammates Paladin and Dygert to save that little bit of energy in the group behind. Paladin led out Dygert up Market Hill, and the US rider finished it off to win her first Women’s WorldTour stage.

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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.