Six Day Virtual Series Elite Women – Day 3

2nd May 2021

With only 2 points between them, Day 3 was shaping up to be a titanic struggle between Dronova and Winther Olsen. Who would end up victorious?

Don’t forget, you can watch the video below to catch up on all the race footage!

Elimination Race

Perhaps struggling to get to grips with life in the virtual world, Tereza Medved’ová found herself eliminated first from the race. Next to be eliminated was the green jersey of Abbie Dentus. It was an all-British affair as Jenny Holl and Dentus rode neck-and-neck down the home straight. Holl, showing her experience in the virtual world knew just when to push to get her avatar safely over the line.

Unable to pull off the same trick as the previous elimination lap, Holl was next to exit the race. The Scot looked in prime position to make the top three, but a huge effort from youngster Zoe Backstedt saw the Welsh rider sneak in front to remain in the race.

Backstedt, buoyed by her earlier effort, broke early to try and surprise her rivals. However, both Dronova and Winther Olsen responded quickly, sweeping past Backstedt to end the Welsh rider’s stint in the race.

As the final lap sounded, Dronova stalked the black jersey of Winther Olsen. The Dane attacked with 175m to go creating a small gap to the Russian behind her. However, as had been consistent with her performances in this round, Dronova exploded out of the seat to power past Winther Olsen with only metres left.

Despite her loss, Winther Olsen remained only four points behind Dronova with one race left. ‘I’m staying optimistic! I know that small mistakes can make a big change, so I just need to keep on going. I’ve been second in all of the races. I need to step up the game and try and get that win!’

Points Final

A race that can simply be put down to a masterclass in virtual racing. Taking five of the six sprints in the Points Race, Tamara Dronova showed unbelievable consistency and endurance throughout.  The Dane finished runner up to the Russian in the first three sprints, allowing Dronova to create a ten-point lead by the halfway point. However, to add salt to the wound, Winther Olsen also suffered a mechanical at a crucial point in the race denying her the opportunity to take points in the fourth sprint.

As the battle for first was starting to fade, there was plenty of action further down the table. Both Jenny Holl and Tereza Medved’ová lost laps prior to the penultimate sprint putting them in fifth and sixth place respectively. However, Abbie Dentus having been promoted to fourth due to Holl’s lost lap, crucially was lapped herself in the final lap of the race. Holl regained fourth place and agonisingly for Dentus, relegated to fifth.  

Never one to give up, Amalie Winther Olsen fought hard, taking the final double points on offer in front of Dronova to take her total to 62 points. However, Dronova took the overall victory accumulating 75 points over the weekend.

Race reflections

Zoe Backstedt, finishing third overall talked to Rebecca at the end. ‘This round has probably been one of the harder rounds for me. All of the girls are super strong. It makes for such good racing.’ 

‘It’s my fourth time racing. Some of the riders are the same as the last couple ones I’ve done. I’ve learnt how they ride and how they ride on a virtual platform. It’s different from racing in real life, sometimes you have to sprint later or sometimes earlier or at a higher cadence which gets you going a bit quicker.’

Reflecting on her win, Tamara said: ‘in reality, my feelings are split. I understand that Amalie had a technical problem which did not allow us to have a fair competition.’ On virtual racing, the Russian commented, ‘the only difference is that the virtual races are safer, especially in the current situation. But from a technical and power aspect there are not many differences. The stronger rider still wins.’

At the end of three incredibly hard days of racing, here is your final GC!

Six Day Virtual Series Elite Women – Day 2

1st May 2021

Heading into Day 2, it was a close-fought battle at the top of the General Classification with just 6 points separating the top 4 riders. Who would be the biggest winners and losers of Day 2?

Watch the video below to catch up on all the virtual action!

Points Race

Needing to cement her place at the top, Danish rider Winther Olsen started well taking the first 5 points on offer. Winther Olsen powerfully overtook Jenny Holl in the home straight relegating the Scot to second. 

Tamara Dronova once again showed glimpses of her impressive sprinting strength, coming from behind to take the second sprint. The orange jersey swept past Holl and Winter Olsen into first, bringing her total 7 points, one behind the Dane. Dronova took her second and third sprint victories on the bounce at 15 and ten laps to go respectively. The 27-year old surged past her rivals to take the lead in the race by three points from Winther Olsen.

Having grown into the race, Welsh rider Zoe Backstedt took the penultimate sprint win, bringing her total to ten points and up to third in the standings. Dronova entered the final lap with a four-point lead over Winther Olsen. If the Dane could take the ten points on offer, she would tie for the lead. 

It was not to be. The Russian powered into the final straight opening a gap to Winther Olsen and stayed the course. Another excellent win for Tamara Dronova and an important win. The Points Race victory crucially tied her at the top on 24 points with Amalie Winther Olsen.

Tamara chatted to Rebecca Charlton after the race about her battle with Amalie Winther Olsen. ‘I raced Amalie during the previous Virtual Series. She’s very good, a very strong opponent. Last time she won but I hope that this time I’ll be stronger competition.’

Scratch Race

In the second Scratch Race of the competition, there was a little more riding on the result. It was an edgy race with all the riders keen to make their mark, however, the battle for first and second was evident. Dronova and Winther Olsen marked each other closely. Zoe Backstedt was the first rider to make a move with just over a lap to go. With all the riders gritting their teeth and pushing for the line, it was the familiar orange jersey that sprung to the fore. Dronova hammered down the power and jumped into the lead coming into the home straight. Winther Olsen once again took second, her fourth in the competition, and Jenny Holl taking the last podium place. 

Reflecting on losing her lead at the top, Amalie commented, ‘I would’ve liked to have gone into the final day with the lead. I’ve liked the racing the last two days a lot. It’s been really hard but it’s been great fun racing. I think tomorrow the tactics will change a bit – I will try opening the sprints a bit earlier. I did that in the first round we did and that worked really well for me. Hopefully it will work but we will see!’

It’s tight at the top, here’s the GC at the end of Day 2!