The Excursion of Flanders is the largest one-day race at the Girls’s WorldTour, and takes position this Sunday in Belgium. The sector-class peloton will toe the starting point in Oudenaarde within the absence of 1 essential particular person – the protecting champion Anna van der Breggen.

Van der Breggen, who could also be the reigning international champion, selected to not compete on the Excursion of Flanders this 12 months as a result of she as an alternative raced the Cape Epic mountain motorbike degree race – a race she gained with Boels Dolmans teammate Annika Langvad. The eight-day race, of which the typical degree was once 5 hours, ended below two weeks in the past, and she or he did not assume she would have time to get well.

“The Excursion of Flanders is one of these cool race, and I’d find irresistible to do it once more. It feels slightly peculiar not to race this 12 months, however, then again, I am satisfied that I made that call sooner than the Cape Epic. I may really feel that it might be difficult on my frame, and I took this week simply to get well and really feel energised once more,” Van der Breggen instructed Cyclingnews on Wednesday.

Whilst Van der Breggen recovers and appears forward to objectives on the Wholesome Aging Excursion and the Ardennes Classics, there are a variety of alternative riders ready within the wings to change into the following champion on the Excursion of Flanders this weekend.

The direction: 4 cobbled sectors and 10 hellingen

The ladies’s 159km loop begins and finishes in Oudenaarde. This 12 months marks the 16th version of the ladies’s race, and it is the 6th spherical of the 2019 Girls’s WorldTour, these days led via Marta Bastianelli (Virtu Biking).

The majority of the flat cobbled sectors are at first of the race: Lange Munte (10km), Lippenhovestraat (33km), Paddestraat (35km) and Haaghoek (61km).

The 10 sharp climbs kick in on the 55km mark with the Achterberg, sooner than transferring directly to the Leberg (64km), Berendries (68km), Tenbosse (76km), Muur-Kapelmuur (86km), Kanarieberg (114km), the newly added Taaienberg (118km), Kruisberg/Hotond (133km) and the overall two climbs over the Oude Kwaremont (143km) and Paterberg (146km).

Race organisers have given the ladies’s race an excellent harder finale with the addition of the Taaienberg climb, making the overall 40 kilometres of the race the similar as the boys’s version.

Anna Van Der Breggen (Boels - Dolmans) climbs to the Tour of Flanders win

The contenders

Boels Dolmans’ roster won’t come with Van der Breggen, however they nonetheless line up with a variety of attainable winners in Chantal Blaak, Amy Pieters – who was once 2d final 12 months – and Jolien D’hoore. Even if D’hoore is indexed to race Flanders, she has been improving from a damaged collarbone suffered in a crash at Drentse 8.

“I do not know if Jolien is doing the race. I am hoping so,” Van der Breggen instructed Cyclingnews. “It is in Belgium, and she or he is the largest Belgian rider, and so she would find irresistible to do it. Amy was once 2d final 12 months, and Chantal is at all times just right at that race. I want to be there to assist the ones riders, however different races are arising, and so there might be time for that.”

CCC-Liv will line out with Marianne Vos, who gained the race in 2013 and instructed Cyclingnews previous this month that she was hoping to be in a position for the race. The group additionally contains Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, who was once fourth final 12 months.

Mitchelton-Scott box a tough-to-beat duo in Annemiek van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt. Van Vleuten gained the race in 2011 and was once 3rd final 12 months, however stated her primary focal point was once at the Ardennes Classics this season. She gained the outlet spherical of the Girls’s WorldTour at Strade Bianche.

Anna van der Breggen holding her trophy

Trek-Segafredo box two former winners in Ellen van Dijk, who simply gained the Dwars door Vlaanderen, and Elisa Longo Borghini.

Sunweb additionally box a former winner in Coryn Rivera, however will even have robust contenders in Lucinda Emblem and Leah Kirchmann.

WNT-Rotor have had a dream begin to the Girls’s WorldTour season with two victories on the Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem, each with sprinter Kirsten Wild. Flanders might be too hilly for the Dutch monitor specialist, however the rest can occur in an unpredictable Vintage. The group additionally features a contender in Lisa Brennauer, who has been an very important a part of the lead-out for Wild within the sprints. Most likely they’ll opposite roles for the Excursion of Flanders.

Girls’s WorldTour chief Bastianelli spoke with Cyclingnews previous this month and stated that the Excursion of Flanders was once a number one goal this 12 months – that and the Yorkshire Worlds street race – so search for her on the head of the race on Sunday.

Movistar have a contender in Malgorzata Jasinksa, who was once 6th final 12 months. After a robust 2018 season, the group instructed Cyclingnews that they might put extra improve in the back of the Polish champion.

Canyon-SRAM convey Kasia Niewiadoma as their best contender. She was once 9th final 12 months and may have improve from Elena Cecchini, Alexis Ryan and Tiffany Cromwell.

“Flanders is tremendous lengthy and critical,” Niewiadoma stated. “We’re utterly ready and in a position for the loopy struggle on Sunday. We are in very good form, and we have now the most efficient apparatus. Our group is amazingly robust, and everyone seems to be keen to head in the market, do their process correctly and race their hearts out for our group’s good fortune. It will harm, however we are just right at coping with struggling and accepting ache.”

Take a look at in with Cyclingnews without delay following the Excursion of Flanders for the whole effects, race stories, gallery and comparable information.

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