The GP Eco-Struct has a history at the national level in Belgium but was raised to UCI level in 2020. After a pair of victories from Lorena Wiebes, the race moves up to 1.1 and starts to feel like an established, secure race now.
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It was a long time coming but the first women’s Paris Roubaix finally took place in 2021. We’d been teased that Paris Roubaix Femmes was taking place after the COVID lockdown in 2020 but further measures derailed the race. It was the same story in the spring of 2021 but finally, in October 2021, we saw a women’s peloton on the cobbles.
The women’s Amstel Gold Race returned last season. It was heavily altered, turned into a large circuit based around the Cauberg, the Geulhemmerberg and the Bemelerberg. The constant climbing was hoped to be attritional but ultimately we saw a reasonably large sprint after the Cauberg. Despite the attack of Niewiadoma, no-one would work with her and it proved fruitless. Vos took the sprint ahead of Demi Vollering and Annemiek van Vleuten.
The first Women’s Tour of Flanders took place in 2004. The route followed the last 55km of the men’s race with a bit before it to take the distance up to 94km. The finish parcours from that time is now used for Omloop het Nieuwsblad. Riders climb Kapelmuur before riding the tree-lined Bosberg. Zulfiya Zabirova won the first race with an attack on Kapelmuur itself.
The Women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen has been a UCI race since 2017 and a lower level race for 5 years before then too. The race has evolved over the years from a largely flat race with 1 or 2 major climbs to last year’s version which was a much tougher affair with 10 climbs
The Women’s Gent Wevelgem has been running since 2012. Taking place on the same day as the men’s race, the women’s version starts from Ypres and finishes in Wevelgem. The route takes in the infamous Kemmelberg, although the women haven’t tackled the steepest Ossuary side until this year’s race.
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