The Belgian race’s tenth edition contained ten hills and five cobblestone sections, but these obstacles didn’t cause any splits in the peloton. The first serious breakaway occurred halfway through the race when Brodie Chapman went for it solo. The Australian got a maximum lead of one and a half minutes but was caught by the peloton about 20 kilometres from the finish line.
In the final part of the race Elisa Longo Borghini, Ellen van Dijk and Annemiek van Vleuten tried to prevent a bunch sprint, but thanks to some good work by Koster, the depleted peloton stayed together. In the sprint that followed, Swinkels finished tenth.
“The tactic was to attack, but that proved more difficult than expected”, sports director Lieselot Decroix said. “In the final, Teuntje (Beekhuis), Anouska and Karlijn were in the peloton, so we decided to sprint with Karlijn. Tenth place was not the result we came for, but I think they all learned a lot from this race.”