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Marianne Vos Triumphs in Dramatic Finish at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Marianne Vos, representing Visma-Lease a Bike, showcased her prowess once again, securing her second win of the season at the shortened Dwars door Vlaanderen. In a thrilling sprint to the finish, Vos outpaced her rival Shirin van Anrooij from Lidl-Trek, clinching victory in a two-up sprint.

The race unfolded amidst a backdrop of unexpected events, with a car accident up ahead of the race leading to the neutralisation of the women’s peloton and a subsequent route alteration. Despite these disruptions, the competition remained fierce as riders tackled seven cobblestone sections and nine climbs across 129.9km, setting the stage for a dramatic showdown.

The original route was set to cover challenging ascents including Hellestraat, Volkegemberg, Berg Ten Houte, Kanarieberg, Knokteberg-Trieu, Hotond, Ladeuze, Nokereberg, and Nokere before a 10km run-in to Waregem. However, the accident prompted organisers to remove Knokteberg-Trieu and Hotond from the route, shortening the race by about 20km.

As the peloton regrouped and resumed racing, a breakaway formed, including notable riders such as Lotte Kopecky, Elisa Longo Borghini, and Marianne Vos. However, it was Vos and Van Anrooij who ultimately broke away from the group with 12km to go, establishing themselves as the frontrunners in the closing stages of the race.

With a slim lead over the chasing pack, Vos and Van Anrooij navigated the final kilometres with precision and determination. Despite efforts from their rivals to bridge the gap, the duo maintained their advantage, setting the stage for a thrilling sprint finish.

In the final meters of the race, Vos exhibited her trademark sprinting prowess, launching a decisive attack to secure victory ahead of Van Anrooij. The intense battle for the podium continued behind them, with Letizia Paternoster emerging victorious in the chase-group sprint for third place.

The race is stopped with the peloton forced to wait
(Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Reflecting on her victory, Vos remarked on the challenging nature of the race and the strategic decisions that shaped its outcome. “There were attacks from the beginning, and then we had this neutral part where the race was neutralised,” she explained. “In the end, I was happy to be in a break with Shirin van Anrooij.”

Van Anrooij, while settling for second place, expressed satisfaction with her performance and highlighted the valuable experience gained from competing in the intense finale. “We rode to win as a team, but I knew it would be very difficult in a sprint,” she acknowledged. “We wanted to make the race hard as a team and come with numbers in the finale.”

Lotte Kopecky, who finished fourth in the race, lamented missing out on the opportunity to respond to the decisive move by Vos and Van Anrooij. “My overall feeling was not bad,” she reflected. “We were not super alert after the neutralisation. The neutralisation was not ideal, but we just need to adapt to it.”

2024 Women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen result

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Main photo credit: Getty