Former world champion Chantal van den Broek-Blaak capped off a dominant Boels-Dolmans efficiency, successful the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.
The Dutch rider attacked a small group close to the highest of the Oude Kwaremont, with 17km remaining, soloing to the road in Oudenaarde.
The 2017 world champion crested the Paterberg, the day’s ultimate climb, with a tenuous lead of solely 15 seconds with 14km remaining, nevertheless, with two Boels-Dolmans crew mates within the chasing group cooperation was briefly provide.
There have been although quite a few makes an attempt to shut the hole, the Mitchelton-Scott pair of Annemiek Van Vleuten and Grace Brown the chief protagonists, however Van den Broek-Blaak eked out her benefit, getting into the ultimate 5km with 45 seconds’ lead.
Behind her crew mate Amy Pieters received the dash for second place, with native rider Lotte Koppecky (Lotto-Soudal) unable to grow to be the primary Belgian in ten years to win and settling for third.
The way it occurred
With 4 groups withdrawing from this 12 months’s shortened version, together with the Alé-Cipollini squad of final 12 months’s winner Marta Bastianelli, solely 117 ladies rolled out of Oudenaarde for the 135.6km.
For the primary time in its 17 editions, the ladies’s occasion started within the afternoon, the peloton rolling out because the motion was kicking off within the males’s race.
After some early assaults, a bunch of seven managed to get a niche, with former Irish champion Alice Sharpe (Ciclotel) joined by Teuntje Beekhuis (Lotto-Soudal), Gloria Rodriguez (Movistar), Mieke Kröger (Hitec Merchandise), Adriana Trias (Massi Tactic), Heidi Franz (Rally Biking) and Emily Newson (Tibco-Silicon Valley Financial institution).
With Trias quickly dropped, and Manchester based mostly Sharpe gapped when she punctured, the breakaway had constructed a lead of three minutes because the race tackled the Lippenhovestraat, the primary of 4 flat cobbled sectors, with 35km completed.
Although that hole got here down on the Paddestraat, the benefit once more grew to three.40 as they approached the primary of the day’s 11 climbs, the Kattenberg, the place three riders who had tried to bridge, caught on the high.
Because the climbs started to return extra commonly the hole started to return down, dropping beneath two minutes because the race crossed sector 4, Haaghoek, and heading onto the Leberg, 70km out.
Over the Berendries the race lit up, with a number of the anticipated protagonists making strikes, and, after a interval of stress from two Sunweb riders, Liane Lippert and 2017 Flanders winner Coryn Rivera made a transfer, with Kristen Faulkner hoping to make it two Tibco-Silicon Valley Financial institution ladies on the entrance.
Behind, the peloton allowed the trio solely round 45 seconds, whereas the unique breakaway’s lead as soon as once more prolonged, approaching two minutes.
With 50km to go Boels-Dolmans took command, coming to the entrance and upping the tempo and bringing the three escapees again, whereas the 5 main ladies dangled off the entrance. On the Kanarieberg world champion Anna van der Breggen hit the entrance, driving the tempo, and splitting the bunch, reaching the highest on the head of a smaller peloton and with three crew mates on her wheel.
With the unique break lastly caught on the Taaienberg, inside the ultimate 40km, a flurry of assaults adopted. Riejanne Markus (CCC-Liv) and Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM) had been allowed a small hole which grew to 45 seconds as they entered the closing 30km, climbing out of Ronse on the cobbled climb of Kruisberg.
Right here, with the hole round 30 seconds, Van der Breggen returned to the entrance, thinning the group extra, and setting the stage for crew mate Van den Broek-Blaak to assault on the high.
This created an additional choice as they continued to climb, now on the sleek drag that’s the Hotond, the place the leaders had been caught and European champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked, creating a niche.
With Van Vleuten so harmful Van der Breggen adopted, caught her compatriot stetting up the scrumptious prospect of the world’s two finest ladies combating for the win. However she was clearly working for her Van den Broek-Blaak simply behind, and in a weird twist she refused to trip, the 2 Dutchwomen sharing a joke earlier than the group re-formed on the descent in the direction of the penultimate climb, the Oude Kwaremont.
After a short hiatus, close to the highest of the climb, Van den Broek-Blaak launched her successful transfer, powering off the entrance and rising from the cobbled climb with a slim lead of 10 seconds. With crew mates Van der Breggen and Pieters among the many chasers and marking each transfer it Van den Broek-Blaak’s victory was all however assured.
Tour of Flanders Ladies: Oudenaarde – Oudenaarde (135.6km)
1. Chantal van den Broek Blaak (Ned) Boels-Dolmans in 3-29-57
2. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 1-01
3. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
4. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT
5. Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyoon-SRAM
7. Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel-Valkenburg
8. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek Segafredo
9. Lauren Stephens (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Financial institution
10. Marta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar Journey and Service all at identical time