Binche-Chimay-Binche pour Dames History
Binche-Chimay-Binche pour Dames is another recent addition to the women’s calendar after being a longstanding men’s race. First held in 2021, at the lowest one-day level of 1.2, it was won by Sara van de Vel of the now-defunct Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants team. She finished ahead of a then-emerging Loes Adegeest and Nicole Steigenga. One of the stars of this season, Christina Schweinberger was 4th for Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus.
Last year’s race was promoted to the 1.1 level which allowed for more Women’s WorldTour competition. With the race coming down to a sprint, it was naturally Lorena Wiebes who took the win in her last road race for Team DSM. Majo van’t Geloof was 2nd for Le Col Wahoo with Anniina Ahtosalo rounding out the podium. In a mark of consistency, Christina Schweinberger finished 4th for the second consecutive year, this time for Plantur-Pura.
The race profile contains some hilly-looking parts to the final local laps but they’re not steep or particularly long. There’s no reason to suspect it will finish in anything other than a sprint again.
Sara van de Vel
Binche-Chimay-Binche pour Dames 2023 Profile
Binche-Chimay-Binche pour Dames 2023 Contenders
The big pre-race favourite will be Charlotte Kool. The Dutch sprinter is comfortably the fastest rider here on paper and if her team can deliver her to a strong position, there should be no problem finishing it off. She has taken 13 victories this year and it feels likely Kool will add another one to that tally. Teammate Pfeiffer Georgi is in good form too but she will surely be on the leadout duties here. For dsm-firmenich it’s a chance to retain the win after Wiebes’ last victory for them in 2023.
Austrian Christina Schweinberger has had a great second half of the season and traditionally does well at this race, with a pair of 4th places in the last 2 years. That should be possible again and it’s tough to see her beating the pure sprinters but there aren’t too many of those here. A top-10 should be certain and from there, any result is possible…including 4th place. It could also fall to her teammate Marthe Truyen to do well here too. The Belgian had a spell in August and September of finishing consistently in the top-5 of races like GP Fourmies and Grote Prijs Beerens. That run could continue here on what’s a relatively flatter course.
Possibly the only major competition in the sprint here for the win is Chiara Consonni. The Italian is usually just behind that top tier that includes Kool, Wiebes and Balsamo but she’s not that far behind. With a strong leadout there that features Eleonora Gasparrini and Laura Tomasi, the UAE Team ADQ outfit will certainly take the fight to the pre-race favourite. It’s tough to predict Consonni winning this but 2nd behind Kool should be more than possible.
Daria Pikulik started the 2023 season well with a win at the Tour Down Under and looks set to finish it in some good form too. The Pole took a pair of wins at the Tour de l’Ardeche a couple of weeks ago and also won Konvert Kortrijk Koerse. She’s not quite as fast as Kool, so it’s tough to see her taking the victory but the podium feels like a solid shout. She will be supported by Majo van’ t Geloof too, the Dutch rider was 2nd here last year behind Wiebes so will be able to guide Pikulik to a strong spot. The last 2 races we saw her at saw top-10 finishes at GP Oetingen (5th) and Konvert Kortrijk Koerse (8th).
FDJ-Suez will have a number of options where it’s hard to pick out a true obvious leader. In good form, Vittoria Guazzini would take that role but she’s still recovering from her injuries this year and doesn’t really have a result of note in recent months. She will have one eye already on the 2024 season. Emilia Fahlin is looking for a new contract and appears to be flying the flag for the team in the WWT races in China coming up. For the Swede, this would be a handy warm-up for the upcoming races which are likely to be sprints. There’s also Marie le Net and Gladys Verhulst too who are both good one-day race finishers. We haven’t seen too many opportunities for Le Net to lead this year but 2nd in the French national championships on a rolling course is an indicator of a fast finish. Gladys Verhulst won La Picto-Charentaise in mid-August but wasn’t able to finish the Tour de Romandie and European Championships recently. In good form, Verhulst should be making the top-10 at Binche-Chimay-Binche pour Dames.
Cofidis is another team where it’s hard to pick out who the main shout will be. Valentine Fortin is in some great form at the moment, sprinting to wins at GP d’Isbergues and A Travers les Hauts de France. She’s only finished outside of the top-10 once since the end of June and has had a career year on the road with 4 victories in total. Martina Alzini can be fast in her own right too. Finishing 7th at GP d’Isbergues herself and 3rd at the Tour de Berlin Feminin. 3 third places at the Bretagne Ladies Tour is also a strong sign, even if it feels a long time ago now. They’ve also got the French national champion Victoire Berteau who was another to do well at GP d’Isbergues by finishing 6th. She was also 3rd at the Grisette Grand Prix de Wallonie on what was a hilly course in Namur. It’s firmly been a career year for her too and I’d probably back Fortin for the main sprint and Berteau if a small break can get itself clear.
Anniina Ahtosalo was 3rd here last season for Uno-X and I think she’ll get the nod again this year. The young Finn has had a solid season with a good number of top-10s along the way at this 1.1 race level. It should be a good way for her to round out the year with the likes of Amalie Dideriksen and Maria Giulia Confalonieri to support her in the leadout too.
Fauve Bastiaenssen is a little bit of a longer shot but has been going well recently. 4th at GP Fourmies and 5th at A Travers les Haut de France in one weekend was a good return a few weeks ago. There have been glimpses earlier in the year too with 8th at Dwars door het Hageland but also a tendency to not necessarily get those results consistently yet. She will be behind the top-drawer talent here but could make the top-10. Mieke Docx has had a good season and has had some strong results recently. 6th at A Travers les Hauts de France and 7th on Stage 1 at AG Tour de la Semois are almost her best results of the year. Bastiaenssen might be able to get the best result on the day but Lotto Dstny Ladies will be able to play the card who feels best on the day.
Danique Braam should also have a shot of a top-10 here for Duolar-Chevalmeire. The Dutch rider was on the podium with 3rd place at the Egmont Cycling Race in August and has a number of top-10s in one-day races this season. There will also be help from teammates Kelly Druyts and Olha Kulynych too. Druyts is having her best season in a number of years, which included a podium at the Belgian national championships and 5th at Ekeren-Deuren too. Olha Kulynych is potentially a stronger rider and has won at the Giro Toscana and Tour de Feminin this year. This parcours feels like it’s a touch too flat for it to be one for her to really excel in though.
Binche-Chimay-Binche pour Dames 2023 Outsiders
Lifeplus-Wahoo’s Babette van der Wolf has done well in a few WWT sprints this season. The young Dutch rider has found herself just outside of the top-10 at races like the Simac Ladies Tour, Tour de France Femmes and Vuelta a Burgos. When she has done a lower-level race like this, Van der Wolf was able to finish 8th at Grote Prijs Beerens. There’s definitely plenty of talent there and the Binche-Chimay-Binche pour Dames is a good chance to secure another strong result.
Ceratizit WNT has a number of options including an in-form Laura Ascencio and both Fidanza sisters but I think Mylene De Zoete will be their highest finisher here. She was nearly in the top-10 at the Simac Ladies Tour against plenty of top-tier opponents. Like Van der Wolf, she had a good Grote Prijs Beerens finishing 7th there. She will be another hoping to finish in the top-10 here.
It’s the AG Insurance-NXTG U23 team here rather than the Elites squad, so Julia Kopecky will be the team’s big threat. The Czech rider was 6th in the recent European Championships U23 race and had a good AG Tour de la Semois too, finishing 8th on the final day. Winning Leiedal Koerse earlier in the year with a strong late break, she’s one who might try and do a Carina Schrempf and attack in the final 1-2kms again.