One-day racing continued for our Women’s program today at the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne. Faced with an almost pancake flat parcours, a bunch sprint was expected at the end of the day but a blustery wind loomed over the peloton, with possible echelons expected throughout the race.
It was a slow start to the day, with a few probing attacks but the bunch was all together as they hit the final large circuit with 80 kilometres to go. It was nervous within the peloton as the wind speed had picked up and a few crashes only increased the nervousness even more. The team were alert to a split in the bunch with around 50 kilometres remaining but proceedings once again regrouped. However, the crashes in the bunch continued and on an exposed section of road the race split for good as a group of 13 riders went clear, with Lorena Wiebes just missing the front group.
The majority of team was in the chasing group with Pfeiffer Georgi, Susanne Andersen and Franziska Koch giving it their all in their efforts to try and catch those ahead. Despite bringing the gap down to 25 seconds at one point, it wasn’t enough and those ahead fought it out for the race win. Wiebes showed her good sprinting legs by powering home to 13th place, dominantly winning the sprint from the chasing group.
“I was really close to making the front group, only it broke up two more times in front of me,” explained Wiebes after the race. “We did everything that we could to bring it back together. It’s not the result that we came here for, but at the end it is what it is. We’re looking forward to the next one now.”
Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “A lot of times we were good in positioning ourselves, but we messed up a little bit at the key moment when the race split where we were not sharp enough. The good thing is that we were together for most of the race and we then tried really hard to bring it back. Of course we’re disappointed as this wasn’t the result that we were aiming for today. We’ll go away and evaluate what happened for the future races.”