The transition between the cobbled classics and the Ardennes got underway today with Brabantse Pijl, known for its short punchy climbs. Rolling out from the start line Lennik, the attacks flew at the head of the race but no major breakaway was able to establish itself out front and instead it became more of a race of attrition.
Heading into the final 50 kilometres the team rode well as a unit and were positioned towards the front of the bunch as the climbs came thick and fast. Coryn Rivera showed good punch in her legs by making it into a dangerous move on the Hertstraat but that group was brought back. More attacks then came from the peloton but the decisive attack of the day came just before the riders heard the bell at the finish line, with Juliette Labous riding strongly to make the split of six for the team.
The group worked well together and with hesitation in the reduced peloton behind, it became clear that Labous’ group would fight it out for the win at the finish. Digging deep on the final drag to the line Labous gave it her all in the sprint, finishing in a strong sixth place after a good display of aggressive and attacking racing by the team.
“It was a very fast race from the start, and the girls did a really good job to protect Coryn and me for the local loops,” said Labous after the race. “We did a great job, Coryn was in a dangerous move and when it came back my break went a bit after that. This was a good one to be in and I am very happy about the result. I suffered a lot but I think we can take confidence out of this race for the longer climbs of the Ardennes. We can be satisfied about today for sure!“
Team DSM coach Bennie Lambregts added: “I think the team did a really good job today. We wanted to arrive in the main final with numbers, which we did. We then did really well to get Juliette into the final break and have Coryn in the group behind for the sprint if it came back. Coryn reacted well to the attacks earlier in the day which was also part of our plan, so that was good. I think we showed good teamwork and we were really good in positioning for the key points; so we can be happy with our performance and the result. I’m proud of the team today.”
|1||WINDER Ruth||Trek-Segafredo Women||3:20:00||125|
|2||VOLLERING Demi||SD Worx||,,||85|
|3||BALSAMO Elisa||Valcar – Travel & Service||,,||70|