Gent-Wevelgem: strong performance Valerie Demey

Gent-Wevelgem: strong performance Valerie Demey

Before the race Valerie Demey said it was special to race in her own region West-Vlaanderen. The Belgian Liv Racing Xstra rider made the best of it and finished inside the top-15.

The Women`s World Tour race started in Ypres. Soon two riders attacked and managed to built up a lead of 3,5 minutes. With 65 km to go the peloton reeled them in, but new attacks came on the first ascent of the Kemmelberg. The gaps stayed small however, also after the second ascent of the Kemmelberg. A group of 30 riders headed towards the final, at that moment without any Liv Racing Xstra riders.

That scenario changed when a chase group with Valerie Demey and Silke Smulders returned to the first group. A flurry of attacks followed, but it lasted till 12 km to the line before an escape group took some space. In that group Demey was carrying the flag for Liv Racing Xstra. The reduced peloton chased hard and took the escapees back with 7,5 km to go. Despite several late attacks the race came down to a sprint. World champion Elisa Balsamo took the win, Demey put down a strong sprint finishing 13th.

“It was a very hard race. It was stressful from the start because De Moeren were waiting after 30 km. We were well positioned there and came through it without any trouble. The Kemmelberg caused some splits in the bunch. It isn`t my favorite climb and I had to let go, but I knew it was head wind until Ypres and there was some time to get back in the front. In the final I was involved in a nice breakaway, but too many teams wanted to have a sprint. In that sprint I tried my best and I am satisfied with my 13th place”, Demey commented after the race.