Dutch sprinting star Lorena Wiebes maintained her streak at the sprinters’ classic with her 3rd win in 3 editions, the only editions of the race to have ever been held. She was pushed close to the line by the incoming Charlotte Kool but Lorena had timed her sprint to perfection thanks to the lead-out she got from teammate Barbara Guarischi.
A quiet race saw little in terms of attacks until around 60km to go when a flurry occurred as the TV cameras were switched on. Arkea were particularly visible and eventually Amandine Fouquenet managed to go clear with a group containing Babette van der Wolf, Kelly van den Steen, Katrijn de Clercq and Simone Boilard. The latter had been in a 100km+ break here last year and true to form was back in the break again.
The group worked well and the peloton allowed them to get some distance but with the gap not huge yet, Sara van de Vel and Noëlle Rüetschi made a bridging attempt. The latter rider, only 18 years old, is in great form after her 3rd place at Volta Limburg recently. With the new riders joining on, the break’s gap went up to about a minute and a half before teams started to begin the chase. It was largely UAE Team ADQ who worked, losing the game of chicken with their rivals to start chasing.
At 12km to go, the break was within sight and going to be caught. As the final km ticked by, we began to see a long lead-out from SD Worx, with Marlen Reusser putting in a huge turn before swinging off the front. Probably with one eye looking ahead to Saturday’s Paris Roubaix Femmes. That meant no other team could come alongside and they had the prime position going into the final straight. Guarischi kicked and dropped Wiebes off with 150m to go, an ideal distance to finish off the hard work. Charlotte Kool was closing in fast but was boxed in slightly so had to delay her sprint and lost vital metres in doing so. Chiara Consonni closed out the podium with 3rd place.
“I had to win, because the team did a great lead-out. I think I came with 150 meters. That was enough to win and that’s what it’s all about. I felt Charlotte coming up on the left, but I’m not a rider to close. I don’t take any chances then, but it was fortunate enough. We started with a strong team and have shown that we can achieve a strong lead-out.”Lorena Wiebes
“To be honest, I am disappointed. I lost Daniek Hengeveld in the preparation and wasted energy by moving up. Then I waited too long to start my sprint and got boxed in. I was really fast, so I think more was possible. We will take this lesson with us.”Charlotte Kool
2023 Scheldeprijs Women result
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