Our Women’s programme got their season underway today at the tough Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and its famous cobbles and climbs. Upon leaving the start in Ghent, a breakaway group of three quickly established itself at the head of the race and built up a lead that reached a maximum of almost six kilometres.
The gap soon began to tumble as the pressure was applied at the front of the peloton and with around 45 kilometres to go the race split to pieces. Juliette Labous and Liane Lippert rode strongly to make the front split of around 30 riders for the team over one of the many climbs in the area. However, with the leg sapping nature of the course and the hard pace that was set at the front, Lippert had to let go of the bunch. Labous dug deep and fought on for as long as possible but let go of the wheels on the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen with around 17 kilometres to go, ultimately becoming the first rider home at the finish for the team.
“It was nice to be back racing today, I think we were all happy to get that racing feeling again, we did our best today and although we made some mistakes in positioning, we rode well together as a group. From the Molenberg the race was really hard and the pace was full gas all the way to the finish. I ended up with Liane in the front group, but I had already done a bit of positioning work so didn’t feel too good myself at that point. Liane felt good but then after one of the sections she said her legs weren’t feeling good anymore so I ended up alone in the front group. I tried to survive for as long as possible and ended up in the main second group on the road. In the last five kilometres, I attacked to go for the top 20 but some of the riders chased me back, but the result doesn’t really matter too much whether you’re top 20 or top 30. I think we’re all a bit disappointed with the race because we aimed for more. Personally, I’m happy with the feeling and especially happy with how the bike felt on the cobbles, the Scott bike felt really good. We’ll focus on the next races instead now, make sure we recover well and I’m sure we’ll be fighting for a top result soon.”Juliette Labous
“I think our positioning wasn’t good enough today at some of the important moments, especially before the Molenberg and that was crucial in deciding the outcome of the race. Liane and Juliette were both really good until Berendries where they then didn’t have the best legs from that moment. It’s possibly because it’s the first race of the season for us and it was a shock to the body, and we need that bit of intensity from the races. We’ll analyse today and look for improvement points that we can then take into the coming races.”Hans Timmermans
|VAN DER BREGGEN Anna
|NORSGAARD Emma Cecilie
Photo Credit: Cor Vos