Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck) took a stunning win at Besancon today, recovering from a dropped chain on the first lap which saw her lose nearly 30 seconds to the race leaders to eventually finish 37 seconds ahead of Annemarie Worst (Team 777) in second place and 43 seconds ahead of Inge van der Heijden (Team 777).
“I dropped my chain on the first lap I think so that was a bit of a bummer but I felt I could get back very strong, and then decided to go solo,” Pieterse said after the race.
“It cost a lot of energy. I think maybe I wanted to get back there too quickly,” she added. “And then I saw it was still a big front group and I could ease off a bit and then recover.”
Once recovered, she wasted no time attacking during the second lap and quickly established a solid leading margin.
When asked whether she thought the result would send a strong message to Fem van Empel after her victory at Flandriencross on Saturday, Pieterse said, “We need to show each what we’re worth, of course.”
Third place Inge van der Heijden described Team 777’s podium effort. “We had really good teamwork, so we rode together,” she said after the race. “Because [Pieterse] was gone, we had a fight in our last lap for the second place. So I’m really happy to share the podium with Annemarie.”
Zoe Bakstedt, the 18-year-old Junior World Champion newly signed with EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, also had an excellent day finishing in fourth place – her best ever World Cup finis – just over one minute behind Pieterse.