The 2023 edition of Dwars Door Vlaanderen saw an exciting, attacking race that ultimately got decided on the berg in Nokere that isn’t the Nokereberg! Demi Vollering launched a fierce attack that Marianne Vos but was unable to quite hang onto and the Dutch rider was able to ride away for a solo victory in Waregem. The chase never materialised so the second group on the road was left to sprint for the final steps on the podium. Last year’s winner Chiara Consonni finished 2nd ahead of Marianne Vos, who’d been active through the race.
The peloton helpfully kept things quiet until the tv cameras were switched on, with the first real move of the day coming on the Kanarieberg. That spread out the peloton ready for the next attack from Victoire Berteau and Francesca Barale which established the break of the day. They were bridged over to by Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Eva van Agt. The latter dropped back on the Knokteberg however, leaving a strong trio up front. That climb saw Marianne Vos attack with Marlen Reusser and join the front of the race. Despite Reusser’s win at Gent Wevelgem, the peloton didn’t quickly close this move down.
The impetus distanced Francesca Barale, for whom the elastic stretched back and forth before the Italian was eventually dropped for good. Behind the front group, the peloton was repeatedly splitting up and struggling to close the gap. It took a huge turn from Lucinda Brand as Trek Segafredo committed everything to the chase with 35km to go. The Doorn cobbles saw Reusser and Vos go clear of their former break companions as the chase began to attack itself. Repeated attacks from the likes of Vollering, Mackaij and Lippert didn’t do much to close the gap but kept things going.
With 17km to race, the gap was down to 10″ as the work from Trek Segafredo again began to really tell. After being away off the front for 30km, Reusser and Vos were finally caught once more by the peloton, which was now just a couple of dozen riders strong. The attacks continued and whilst some briefly got gaps, it wasn’t to be. Even at 10km to go riders were still trying on the flat sections but the decisive move came on the berg in Nokere by Demi Vollering. The gap was in the balance at just 10″ with around 6km to the finish line.
However, Group 2 started to do Group 2 things, with some riders happy to wait and sprint from whatever the race situation would be in Waregem. As some riders didn’t chase, eventually no riders kept up the chase. Despite having the numbers, Movistar tried once more for their 1-2 move with Lippert and Mackaij on a bridge but it just wouldn’t stick in this year’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen.
The win for Vollering became inevitable and the Dutch rider took the 14th victory of her career – the second of 2023 after Strade Bianche.
“This team is so strong. I only had to control today. That way I could save myself. I felt very good and looked for the right moment to attack. It’s nice to win so close to the Tour of Flanders. You always keep that feeling for a while. We are in the winning spirit with the team. With us, it doesn’t matter who wins, as long as the team wins.”Demi Vollering
2023 Dwars Door Vlaanderen Women result
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