Dutch rider took her 23rd win of the 2022 season by winning Binche-Chimay-Binche. The European champion took a comfortable victory in the sprint, even with an uphill cobbled rise before the finishing straight. No other rider was in the overhead view such was her gap, something we’re well used to this year. Marjolein van ‘t Geloof was 2nd for Le Col Wahoo and Anniina Ahtosalo took her first pro podium in 3rd for Uno-X.
The race spent 117 kilometres around Wallonia with plenty of small ups and downs to tire the legs. Once reaching the finishing circuit, the riders were able to see the finish line 3 times before finishing on the 4th loop. The flamme rouge stood on the cobblestones of Pépinière.
The early racing saw lots of attacks, with Pfeiffer Georgi leading one early move. The main break saw 7 riders spent a long time away and were only caught in the last kilometre of racing. They were: Nicole Steigenga, Ilse Pluimers, Francesca Barale, Hannah Ludwig, Silke Smulders, Matilde Vitilio and Julie van de Velde. Going into the last lap, Van de Velde increased the pace and that saw Vitilio and Pluimers dropped. Both tried really hard to get back to the break, drifting just a few seconds away. A mechanical for each rider ended their chase and put them back into the bunch. The loss of the pair seemed to focus the break and they proved a tough catch.
With 2km to go, the hunters could see their quarry ahead and the catch seems inevitable. Julie van de Velde kicked once again but the fresher legs of those in the bunch told and there were able to come round. Pfeiffer Georgi put in a huge turn so that Lorena Wiebes didn’t have to work until very late on. When she began her sprint, only Van ‘t Geloof initially looked like she might hang on but to no avail.
For Wiebes, it was her 23rd victory (including 2 GC wins) of the year. An incredible run that will be interesting to see if it continues on SD Worx from 2023. Winning in her last road race for Team DSM is a nice send-off.
“It’s nice to end like this, especially because it was the last race for Team DSM. We were in control of the race the whole time. With Francesca [Barale] we had a rider in the leading group. So we didn’t have to drive in pursuit. That was ideal.
We really showed ourselves as a team. I am very happy to be able to finish it. To win in this jersey, in my last race for Team DSM… I am very happy.”Lorena Wiebes