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Lieke Nooijen wins 2023 Argenta Classic with long sprint

Lieke Nooijen 2023 Argenta Classic

Lieke Nooijen has won the Argenta Classic, the 21-year-old Dutch cyclist was the fastest in the mass sprint at the end of a tough day of racing in Ekeren and Deuren.

The second edition of the Argenta Classic – 2 Districtenpijl Ekeren-Deurne took place over two local laps. Both circuits – the first in Ekeren and the second in Deurne were in the vicinity of Antwerp. Multiple laps between to two were completed and included no climbs of note on large city streets. However, there were several short cobblestone sections incorporated into the course.

In the first part of the race, fifteen riders broke away before a thunderstorm pelted the peloton with heavy rain and drenched them to the skin. The 15 riders initially worked well together and had a gap of 2 minutes but the peloton steadily clawed them back. As attacks happened the gap came down but a slippery corner saw Danique Braam and Fabienne Jährig crash and send other riders off to the other side of the road. It slowly came back together but the impetus was gone.

The last escapees, Sofie van Rooijen of Parkhotel Valkenburg and Fien Van Eynde of Fenix-Deceuninck Development, were caught about four kilometres from the end after keeping the peloton at bay for a long time with a short gap. The race would thus end in a bunch sprint. After a late move from Lotto Dstny, Lieke Nooijen was forced to start her sprint from a long way out, around 500 metres. The Dutch rider managed to sustain her effort to the finish line however and hold off the other fast finishers, allowing the rider from Parkhotel Valkenburg to claim the victory. Julie Hendrickx of Lotto Dstny was 2nd and Millie Couzens finished a great 3rd.

2023 Argenta Classic

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