Lorena Wiebes gave SD Worx a perfect Opening Weekend with a sprint victory in the Omloop van het Hageland. The women’s peloton doesn’t get a Kuurne Brusselles Kuurne but this race has been on the calendar for many years in its stead. Taking place to the northeast of Brussels, Omloop van het Hageland has a few smaller climbs and cobbles but usually comes down to the expected sprint finish. Wiebes comfortably won ahead of 3-time Omloop van het Hageland winner Marta Bastianelli and Zaaf Cycling’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot in 3rd place.
The early break of the day saw BePink’s Giorgia Vettorello and AG Insurance-NXTG U23’s Yuli van der Molen get a gap. However, the peloton caught them with around 65km of the race still to go. The next attack saw Puck Pieterse, in her first road race since 2019, push on the cobbled Kerkstraat climb and force a selection of 8 riders that included Bastianelli, Wiebes and Mackaij. 3 riders from SD Worx and 2 from UAE Team ADQ got themselves into the move and they tried to push on but Trek Segafredo were working hard behind having missed the move and successfully brought the group back to the bunch.
The next riders who attempted to go clear were Alison Jackson and Arianna Fidanza. Both are in good form, with Fidanza winning in Almeria recently, and were able to quickly get a gap of over a minute. Despite the odd attack between the pair, they worked well and took some strong efforts to close the gap. It was only within the final 10 kilometres of the race that they were finally caught as SD Worx in particular worked to ensure a sprint finish.
The final roll of the dice saw Floortje Mackaij attack at the 5.5km to go mark and use the descent to almost the finish to stay away. The peloton was never too far behind though and was often in the back of the shot with Mackaij firmly in their sights. SD Worx again was working hard to close the move back with Marlen Reusser, in particular, doing a big turn. It was only in the final kilometre that Mackaij was caught and from there it was almost formulaic that Wiebes was the only rider receiving a lead out from a team member and able to power on through to the finish. Winning by a couple of bike lengths.
2023 Omloop van het Hageland result
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