This has been a great year for Dutch women’s cycling, with three of the top four women in the seasonal Women’s World Tour standings from the Netherlands with three races to go:
1. 1,394.88 (+234.55) Marianne Vos (NED)
2. 1,160.33 Anna van der Breggen (NED)
3. 1,125.86 Amanda Spratt (AUS)
4. 1,105.86 Annemiek van Vleuten (NED)
5. 1,012.95 Ashleigh Moolman (RSA)
Can Vos, now 31, be caught? The remaining races:
 28 August-2 September: Boels Ladies Tour (NED)
 16 September: La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta
 21 October: Women’s Tour of Guangxi
Scoring for World Tour races are 200-150-125-100-85-70-60-50-40-35 for the top ten places and on down to 40th. For the multi-stage Boels Ladies Tour there are also stage points from 25 for a win, down to four for 10th place.
That sets the stage for this week’s Boels Ladies Tour in the Netherlands:
Prologue: 28 August Arnhem to Arnhem (3.3 km): 1. Annemiek Van Vleuten (NED), 4:22; 2. Anna van der Breggen (NED), 4:29; 3. Ellen van Dijk (NED), 4:30; 4. Leah Kirchmann (CAN), 4:31; 5. Lisa Brennauer (GER), 4:31.
Stage 1: 29 August Nijmegen to Nijmegen (132.2 km)
Stage 2: 30 August Gennep to Gennep (129.0 km)
Stage 3: 31 August Stramproy to Weert (124.3 km)
Stage 4: 01 September Sittard to Sittard (158.4 km)
Stage 5: 02 September Roosendaal to Roosendaal (Individual Time Trial: 18.6 km)
The courses are fairly flat and Vos is sitting this one out, opening the door for van der Breggen or Van Vleuten to close in. This is the 21st edition of the “Holland Ladies Tour” as originally known and a race Vos knows well, having won it four times from 2009-12.
In 2018, the prior champions in the race are Van Vleuten (2017), Chantal Blaak (NED: 2016), Lisa Brennauer (GER: 2015), Ellen van Dijk (NED: 2013) and Charlotte Becker (GER: 2008).
Van Vleuten and van der Breggen went 1-2 in the short Prologue race, but the heavy riding will start Wednesday. Look for results here.