DROPS-Le Col Pro Team Update

Monday, June 21, 2021

Our passion for competition and racing remains undiminished and is woven into the very fabric of Ribble. This continues today in no small part with our continued involvement of the Drops-Le Col Women’s Pro Continental racing team. Supporting upcoming and world-class athletes from the UK and beyond allows us to continue to design and innovate. To deliver custom-built bikes that have been proven in the pro peloton. Keep up to date with all of the latest race results from DROPS-LE COL as they compete on the continent.

The DROPS-LE COL pro team will be competing on our flagship Endurance SL R Series Disc throughout the entirety of the 2021 race season. Our flagship carbon endurance road bikes’ superlight frame, truncated aerofoil tube shapes and advanced monocoque construction make this one of the fastest, stiffest, and most capable bikes in the peloton. This class-leading performance also filters down to the other endurance road bikes in our range.

DROPS-LE COL Pro Team Bike

This unique ‘Colour the Road’ look has been designed to meet the infectious personality of the team. A bright and bold design that brightens up the peloton. Should you wish to achieve the DROPS- Le Col pro team look, this stunning design is available to order in BikeBuilder. This special edition team finish can be selected using our CustomColour tool. Alternatively, should you wish to get in touch with your artistic side, our configurator enables you to create your own unique design. Your Bike. Your way.

The Season so far

Due to the challenges associated with Covid, the team decided to focus heavily on the Belgian classics. With invitations to some of the premier races on the calendar, it provides the team with a fantastic opportunity to battle it out with World Tour teams.

The Curlew Cup – 26th September

The Curlew Cup precedes the men’s Beaumont trophy and follows the same testing route format. Two 25-mile laps of the country roads and lanes of Northumberland that included the fearsome climb of the Ryals followed by a 14-mile lap to the finish in Stamfordham, Northumberland. The day’s events were largely dictated by the conditions as a blustery cross headwind on the Ryals nullified the concerted efforts to form a breakaway.

As attempt after attempt was quickly neutralised the prospect of a bunch sprint became almost an inevitability. The peloton held together throughout the final short lap and in the run to the finish, April Tacey powered home to claim a magnificent third-place finish. In doing so, April also claimed the runner-up spot in the HSBC UK National Road Series competition.

April on the podium at the Curlew Cup. Photo Credit @swpixtweets

Grand Prix D’Isbergues – 19th September

An aggressive day’s racing saw Majo finish best placed for DROPS, narrowly missing out on a top ten placing to cross the line 11th. Maike made the first big break of the day which was eventually caught and it was then all the hands to the pumps to bring back a break in the race’s latter stages. Now it’s on to the World’s where we shall see Joss Lowden compete for Team GB in the Individual TT (20th), Mixed TT (22nd) and Women’s Road Race (25th).

La Choralis Fourmies Feminine – September 12th

Maike van der Duin continued her impressive form of late to narrowly miss out on a podium place. At the first intermediate sprint, it was Majo who proved triumphant before Maike made it into the main break of the day. A smaller group containing Dani Christmas eventually bridged over the lead group and it was from this enlarged group that the winner would emerge. Dani absolutely buried herself in helping Maike to launch her sprint which ultimately led to her being awarded fourth place after a photo finish. Dani was by now running on fumes and rolled home in 10th.

A superb day out for the team ahead of the next major races on the calendar. The small matter of Paris-Roubaix and the following day the start of the Tour of Britain. What an event filled start to October! We for one cannot wait.

Giro Toscano 27-29th August

After a short break for the European Track Championships, it was a highly successful return to road racing for the team in Tuscany. It was also the perfect opportunity to surprise team sprinter and Portuguese National Champion Tata Martins with a new bike in the national colours of Portugal.

Stage 1 – A short 2.2km prologue time trial saw Maike Van der Duin capitalise on her track riding success to narrowly miss out on a podium. Maike crossed the line 6 seconds down on the stage winner to claim a superb 4th place on the day and ensure that she started stage 2 wearing the Green Jersey. Anna Christian also produced an excellent display to finish just 12 seconds back in 15th place.

Stage 2 – The second stage consisted of 118km over rolling terrain before subjecting the riders to two testing climbs that would prove to be decisive in determining the outcome of the day. Anna Christian was best placed on the day, crossing the line 1’49 down on the stage winner and 14th on the stage.

Stage 3 – An aggressive team effort led to Tata Martin claiming first place in both intermediate sprints after two perfect lead outs. In doing so, claiming the Sprint Jersey for the race.

Tour Of Norway – 12th to 15th August

Another superb display from the DROPS riders proved once again that when given the chance to shine against World Tour teams they are more than capable of mixing it up with the world’s best.

Stage 1 – The highlight of the day was undoubtedly Anna Christian’s performance in getting herself into the main break of the day and claiming some very valuable QOM points. Sadly the break was reeled back in with just 2 laps to go before Joss Lowden and Emilie Moberg finished in the main bunch. The low point of the day was a crash that resulted in Majo Van’t Geloof being taken to the hospital for precautionary x-rays. Thankfully no breaks were found, Beterschap Majo! It was also a special moment for Elise Olsen, riding her first World Tour race which departed from her home town of Halden.

Stage 2 – the longest stage of the 4, stage 2 was always going to be a stern test for the riders. The day’s goal was to ensure that Joss didn’t lose any time on GC and remained within touching distance of the top 10. A plan that came to fruition as a highly energetic day of breakaways was safely navigated with Joss Lowden finishing in the main bunch and 26th on GC.

Stage 3 – The Queen stage saw the team tackle a 145km stage that included a mountaintop finish in Norefjell. Full commitment and perfect execution of the day’s plan once again resulted in Joss Lowden being well-placed to battle it out with the best riders in the world. A superb climbing performance meant that Jooss crossed the line 16th and moved up to 14th on GC.

Stage 4 – The final stage started in Drøbak at the narrowest part of Oslofjord and after completing 141.6km finished back in Elise’s hometown of Halden. The finish was a high-speed affair with Emilie Moberg crossing the line in 10th to claim the highest placed Norwegian rider on stage jersey. Joss arriving safely within the main bunch to secure an impressive top 20 finish on GC/17th place overall.

Tour de Belle Isle en Terre -29th & 30th July

The rolling roads of Brittany played host to the 3rd edition of the Kreiz Breizh Elite Dames. The DROPS lineup included former winner Dani Christmas amongst their ranks, all of whom would ride in support of protected rider Maike Van der Duin.

Stage 1 – Callac to Pontrieux (124km)

A strong performance from the team saw Maike Van der Duin well placed within a select group of riders. However, it was not to be as a group of 4 broke away to contest the stage win. Maike was left to fight it out with the second group on the road and capped off an excellent team performance to cross the line in 6th place.

Stage 2Saint Connan to Ploumagouar (133.6km)

A tough and hilly course greeted the riders for the second and final stage. It was to be an exceptionally busy day for DROPS Le Col as riders battled to make it into the numerous breakaways of the day and to bring back any that were missed. With a kilometre to go, the main group caught the two leaders and Maike navigated a chaotic finale to cross the line 6th and seal 7th place overall.

Profonde Van Deurne – 18th July

The Dynamic Dutch duo strike again! After some amazing teamwork, it was an incredible 1-2 for DROPS as they headed to Belgium for a bit of Kermesse action. With aggressive racing throughout, Marjolein Van’t Geloof hit the front with less than 4km of 60 completed to take the solo victory. Behind, it was left to Maike Van Der Duin and Emilie Moberg to police the peloton to ensure that the gap to Majo never closed. Maike then outsprinted her opponents in a bunch sprint to claim the second step of the podium and cap a great outing for the team.

Tour de Feminin – 8th to 11th July

We love it when a plan comes together! An incredible display of teamwork resulted in Joss Lowden sealing an emphatic victory for the team in the 2021 edition of the Tour de Feminin. Held in the North of the Czech Republic, the tour consisted of an opening day time trial followed by 3 days of gruelling stage racing over some testing terrain.

Stage 1 – Krásná Lípa 12.6km Time Trial

The opening stage saw riders take on a lumpy 12.6km time trial course on the Western Outskirts of Krásná Lípa. Ever a student of the dark arts of time trialling it was no surprise to see Joss Lowden post an impressive time. Just 2 seconds off the time of the stage winner it was an early indicator of just what was to come.

Stage 2 – Czech / Swiss National Park

The second stage promised much with Joss sitting 2nd on GC. It was another lumpy affair with riders tackling a 101.7km course and 1734m of climbing. A crash threatened to ruin the team’s tactics for the day, with a number of DROPS riders being involved. However, a heroic chase led to the team bridging the gap back to rejoin the main peloton. Some serious teamwork allowed Joss to finish within the main bunch and in doing so claim the leader’s jersey.

Stage 3 – Sluknovskou Uplands

It was all hands on deck to ensure that Joss remained safely within the bunch throughout the penultimate stage of the tour. This time around it was a 110.7km course, riders completing 2 laps of the Sluknovskou uplands in the North of the Czech Republic. With bonus seconds up for grabs on the finish line in Rumburk, the team worked to ensure that Joss crossed the line within the main peloton. Their efforts paid dividends and ensured that at the finish Joss sat 2nd on GC, just 9 seconds off the lead.

Stage 4 – Lusatian Mountains

The final stage was to prove the epic make or break for the team. The 114.6km course started in Varnsdorf and headed West before completing 3 circuits back where it all began, in Krásnár Lípa. Thanks to the incredible effort of her teammates Joss found herself in the perfect position to launch a solo attack with 60km to go. Displaying strength, grit, and determination on the undulating course, Joss stayed away to solo her way to the stage victory. Too tired to even celebrate across the line, Joss claimed the stage win to seal an emphatic overall victory and mountain’s jersey.

Double Win at Omloop der Kempen – 4th June

No rest for the wicked! This was initially down as a race-free weekend for the Drops Le Col p/b Tempur team but our Dutch duo had other plans – taking 1-2 on home soil at ZLM Omloop der Kempen yesterday! Incredible riding from Maike van de Duin to seal victory with fellow rider Marjolein van’t Geloof following Maike up, right behind to take second against some top-level KNWU competition!

The 120 km race started in the centre of Veldhoven and proved to be a highly successful outing for the Dutch duo, with 19-year-old van der Duin overtaking teammate van’t Geloof in the bunch sprint. Both riders avoided being affected by fallers and for a visibly happy van der Duin her scream, when crossing the finishing line in first place, must have been heard throughout the town. It was also her first UCI victory.

Otley Grand Prix – 30th June

It was a return to home soil for the team for the first round of the HSBC National Circuit series. Alice Towers was the first to show her hand when making a bid for freedom along Birdcage Walk with 5 laps to go. Alas, it was not to be as Alice was quickly reeled back into a peloton that remained largely together until the finish. Albeit, with a few other riders trying their hand at breaking off the shackles of a rampaging bunch.

When the almost inevitable bunch sprint was launched April Tacey showed an awesome burst of speed to cross the line in second place for a deserved runner up finish. A great reward for a great team effort.

La Course by Le Tour – 26th June

It was announced shortly before the race that this would be the final edition of La Course. From next year the race will be replaced by the Tour de France Femmes. Drops-Le Col had to be up bright and early for an 8:41am start. The route would see the riders tackle a 107.7km course between Brest and Landerneau.

Team tactics for what proved to be a day of attrition were to ride aggressively. The end goal was to ensure that Joss Lowden was well placed to finish as high as possible against a world-class field. Unfortunately, things got off to a rocky start as both Finja Smekal and Dani Christmas were caught up in an early crash. Two important cards missing for what was to come later in the race. Sara Penton repeatedly made attempts to form a break, but to no avail, as the peloton seemed disinclined to let any breaks form.

It was then left to Anna Christian and Alice Towers to lend their support to Joss on a rolling course that allowed them no respite. The races dominant feature was undoubtedly the Côte de la Fosse aux Loops, of which there would be 4 ascents. At only 3km, it did not seem much of a test on paper. However, in reality, this brute of a climb was to prove a gruelling test of endurance and the decisive factor. After briefly finding herself in the 2nd group on the road, Joss battled back to the group of favourites.

Maintaining her position in the lead group, Joss crossed the line to finish 23rd overall. A highly creditable result for Joss and the rest of the team. Next up for the team is the Tour de Féminine, held in the Czech Republic from the 8th-11th July.

National Road Race Championship of Portugal – 19th June

What a superb start to a weekend of National Championship road racing action. First up was team sprinter Maria (Tata) Martin who displayed an impressive turn of speed to come out on top in a sprint finish. In doing so, claiming the title of Women’s National Road Race Champion of Portugal! How well that trips off the tongue! We look forward to seeing Tata racing in her national champions jersey for the next year. Chapeau Maria!

Tata Martins of Drops – Le Col wins the sprint to claim the title of Women’s National Road Race Champion of Portugal

Norwegian National Road Race Championships – 20th June

It was also a fantastic weekend for the Norwegian members of the team at a rather damp National Road Race Championship held in Kristiansand, Norway. Huge congratulations to Emilie Moberg who narrowly missed out on the title by a mere 5 seconds in the Women’s Elite Road Race. Emilie putting in a superb effort to cross the line in second place to earn herself a well-deserved Silver medal.

Well done ladies!

In the under 23’s race, Elise Olsen won her race to be crowned National U23 Road Race Champion of Norway! A huge well done to Elise and Emilie.

Dwars Door Het Hageland – 5th June

It was a welcome return to racing for the team after a few weeks off. What a return it was too! With the riders having to negotiate the notoriously difficult cobbled climbs of Belgium with a smattering of gravel thrown in for good measure. Marjolein (Majo) Van’T Geloof was first home after a gutsy ride that saw her finish 50 seconds behind the breakaway winner.

Setmana Ciclista Valenciana – 6th to 9th May

The team experienced mixed fortunes at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. Team sprinter Tata Martin being denied a chance to contest the sprint on stage 3 due to a crash in the final 2km. However, a strong team performance over the four stages saw Anna Christian finish highest with a top 30 finish.

Elsy Jacobs – 30th April to 2nd May

Stage 1: Cessagne-Luxembourg

Stage one saw the team tackle a short but technical prologue of 2.2kms situated in the South Western suburbs of Luxembourg. Marjolein Van’T Geloof setting the fastest time for DROPS, just 12 seconds off the lead and finishing the stage at 25th on GC.

Stage 2: Steinfort-Steinfort

Stage 2 consisted of a 44.7km loop followed by 4 laps of a 20.km circuit which included a climb before an uphill sprint for the finish. Elizabeth Bennett was first over the line for DROPS finishing 4 min 44 seconds back.

Stage 3: Garnich-Garnich

The final stage of the Festival Elsy Jacobs was a 105.3km race that started and finished in Garnich. The peloton completed a 61.3km loop before completing 5 laps of an 8.8km circuit in Garnich. In a race that saw the peloton split into 4 separate groups, Elizabeth Bennett was once again the best-placed finisher for the team. Securing a top 50 on the stage and finishing just outside the top 50 (56th) on GC.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege- 25th April

After some impressive results in the early season races, it was on to the last of the spring classics. La Doyenne is one of the BIG named races on the calendar and is one that all teams want to do well in. Joss Lowden put in a great ride to cross the line just outside the top 30 in 32nd place.

La Fleche Wallone – April 21st

Another of the headline races saw the team’s chances of a good result being thwarted by a crash at a key moment. Team leader Joss Lowden eventually having to settle for a frustrating top 50 finish.

Brabantse Pjil – 14th April

It was the final Flanders Classic of the season and what a result! A fantastic team performance resulted in Joss Lowden forming a breakaway with a group of favourites. Despite launching a brave solo attack under the Flamme Rouge Joss was reeled in to finish 5th in the sprint!

Lizzie Bennett in action on the Endurance SL R Disc. Image @rhode_media

Scheldeprijs – 7th April

It was a young squad that lined up for the start of the inaugural edition of this race. A great team performance resulted in Emilie Moberg being well-placed to contest a sprint finish. In horrible conditions, Emilie timed her sprint perfectly to finish agonisingly just off the podium in a superb 4th place.

Ronde de Mouscron – April 5th

In what was a superb team effort, it was a podium finish for Maria (Tata) Martins at Ronde Mouscron. The team rode an attacking race with the intention of featuring in any breakaways. As these attacks were nullified a bunch sprint seemed inevitable. So the plan switched to working for team sprinter Tata Martins. On the long run into the line, Tata maintained third spot to cross the line for the first podium of the season. This fantastic result was backed up by by great rides from April Tacey in 15th, Alice Towers 19th, and Elizabeth Bennett 20th.

Ronde De Vlaanderen – April 4th

One of the toughest races on the calendar saw a team of 6 riders take on this famous cobbled classic. At 152km in length, including the infamous climbs of the Paterberg and Kwaremont plus 5 cobbled sections, it’s not one for the faint-hearted. In what proved to be an attritional race over this brutal course, Maike van Der Duin was the first finisher in the second main bunch.

Dwars Door Vlaanderen – March 31st

This mini Tour of Flanders saw the team take part in 122km of hard riding on a surprisingly sun-drenched course in rural Belgium. Sara Penton was first finished in 43rd.

Gent-Wevelgem – March 28th

Gent-Wevelgem is a great test of a riders fortitude, with wind and rain normally making their presence felt. This year was no exception with crosswinds encountered yet the crucial selection for the result was forced on the Monteberg and Kemmelberg doubleheader. Maike van der Duin was the best-placed finisher within the top 50.

Oxycleanclassic/Brugge De Panne – March 25th

A great day out for the team in their first world tour race. Lizzie Bennett taking the opportunity to try her luck in a solo breakaway on a pan flat 158.8km course. sadly she was pulled back before the finishing laps. Sara Penton and Emilie Moberg got themselves into the second group on the road to finish in 23rd and 14th respectively.

Omloop Van De Westhoek – March 21st

A windy ride saw 5 riders placed in the front group for the first half of the race before a break of 8 went clear to contest the win. Sadly the team missed out on getting into the break and had to settle for Marjolein Van’t Geloof’s attack earning her 10th place.

Nokere Koerse – March 17th

A young team rode to gain valuable experience of a true Belgian classic. Cobbles, the Nokereberg and bad weather all combined to decimate the field.

Healthy Ageing Tour – March 10th to 12th.

The first stage race of the season offered the team 3 days of racing in the Netherlands.

Stage 1– The opening stage was a 126km race of 28 laps of the TT Circuit Assen ( the cathedral of motorcycling). The field looked intent on having a bunch sprint finish and so it proved to be. Marion Van’t Geloof was the highest finisher, crossing the line in 9th. Maike Van der Duin was next best placed in 19th.

Stage 2 – Winds of 50kph+ greeted the riders at the start of the 14.4km time trial that started and finished in Lauwersoog. The organisers decided that competitors could only use road bikes due to the inherent risks associated with full TT machines. Joss Lowden put in a blistering ride to finish 6th and just 43 seconds down on the stage winner.

Stage 3 – The final stage took place over 17.5 laps of the brutal Col du Vam circuit for a total distance of 115.5km. The weather was once again truly appalling, but a fighting performance from the team resulted in Maike van der Duin finishing 15th and Joss Lowden in 22nd.

Le Samyn des Dames – March 2nd

The 10th edition of this race was held on a 92.5km route from Quaregnon to Dour in West Wallonia. The course included 15 cobbled sections and 6 names hills before 2.5 laps of a tough finishing circuit to the finish. Despite numerous attacks over the cobbles the field came in to the finish together to contest a bunch sprint. Marjolein Van’t Geloof crossed the line in 5th place, a superb result.

Omloop Het Nieuswblad – Februrary 27th

It was a promising start to the season for DROPS – Le Col. After just 4km Lizzie Bennett formed a breakaway of 3 which at one point had a lead of over 5 minutes. However, with 38km to go, they were pulled back in and the race split up on the Leberg climb. Five riders from the team finished in the bunch behind the race favourites. A solid start to their spring campaign.

Drops-Le Col OHM team presentation. Image @rhode_photo

Keep up to date with all the results of our other sponsored team -Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling here.

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