Cobbled one-day racing continued for our Women’s program at the testing Gent-Wevelgem this afternoon. With a challenging 140 kilometres on the menu, strong winds would only make the race even more challenging.
Despite a few attempted attacks early in the race, the peloton was all together as it hit the Kemmelberg for the first time, with Liane Lippert riding strongly to make a small splinter group. However, the pace slowed out front and the bunch was all back together heading onto the plugstreets, where Franziska Koch did a good job to position Lippert and Floortje Mackiaj at the head of the race. Yet, the there were no splits on the plugstreets so the peloton charged towards the final climb of the Kemmelberg all together.
On the steep cobbled ramps, Mackaij and Lippert made a front selection of riders. More attacks flew from the bunch and it led to a fast and hectic run-in to the line, as the race split and regrouped in a crosswind section. Coming under the flamme rouge, Mackaij brought Lippert towards the front who gave it her best in the bunch sprint to the line, finishing the day in a solid 12th place.
“It was a super, super hard race with echelons from the beginning on,” explained Lippert. “We stayed sharp all day to not miss a move. On the first time on the Monteberg and Kemmelberg I felt great and ended up in the first group. I made a mistake in the corner and lost contact, but it all came back together anyway. Then we had the gravel where we stayed sharp and in position but nothing happened. After that we focused on our position into the Kemmelberg, and it was super hectic all day long. I was too far back into the Kemmelberg and didn’t make the front group, so had to invest quite some energy to come back. I made it though and was with Floortje in the chasing group behind the two leaders. Floortje focused on the attacks and I focused on the sprint at the finish. We caught the chase and Floortje did a great lead out for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good sprint as I was tired, but I gave it my all and I’m happy we could ride the final and try to go for the best possible result. Overall, the team did a good job today and we will take the positive things out of it for the next one.”
Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “I think in general we did a good race. We had riders in the final, and we could race for the victory with Liane and Floortje which was nice. On the last climb of the Kemmelberg, it was just a little bit too far for Lorena to survive the climb and make it into the group with Liane and Floortje. I think we did a good race, and we approached it with a good mindset and team spirit. We were in the final and able to play the game again, so we’ll take that with us into our next races.”
|1||VOS Marianne||Team Jumbo-Visma Women||3:45:08||400|
|2||KOPECKY Lotte||Liv Racing||,,||320|
|3||BRENNAUER Lisa||Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling||,,||260|