VOLLERING (SDW) BEATS THE MOVISTAR TEAM EUROPEAN CHAMPION, WHO SOUGHT THE FINAL ATTACK IN THE FINAL SECTION AND COMPETED TO THE LINE IN A TOUGH SPRINT AMONG THE BEST IN THE WORLD.
Back on the attack – this time, in the final km – and supported by a remarkable Movistar Team, Annemiek van Vleuten closed her journey in the Ardennes with a second position in Liege-Bastogne-Liège disputed this Sunday, the most consistent of the peloton these days after 4th place in Fleche Wallonne and 3rd place in Amstel Gold Race. Only Demi Vollering (SDW) could beat the European champion in a demanding sprint after a race where all kinds of attacks were not lacking.
While Gloria Rodríguez, Paula Patiño and Sara Martín supported the Dutch in the initial part, Katrine Aalerud and Leah Thomas were responsible for keeping the team led by Pablo Lastras in a good strategic position. The North American leaked into a group of seven after the Rosier climb, while the Norwegian went out in search of a dangerous Moolman (SDW) attack in La Redoute and later worked, together with Thomas, to dry up the attack of the South African with Brand (TFS) and Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ).
Van Vleuten would wait until the slope of Boncelles, 11 km from the finish, to launch her attack, soon answered by the four with which the sprint would be played: Vollering, Longo Borghini (TFS, 3rd), Niewiadoma (CSR) and Van der Breggen (SDW). Van Vleuten closes a beautiful April with this new podium, with a triumph in Flanders – to add to that obtained in Waregem on March 31 – and two boxes in Amstel and the ‘Doyenne’.
STATEMENTS / Annemiek van Vleuten:
“A demanding race, due to the pace, the route and the wind, in which my teammates have once again worked very well for me, going to almost all cuts, and where we have tried to fight for the victory until the end. I remain very proud of the progression of this team, and of how we are adjusting better and better to what a team needs to fight for these races. It was clear to me that I wanted to make a big attack to try to leave, but in La Redoute there was a strong headwind and it was not possible to open a hole without being caught. If I jumped someone had to be there, but I couldn’t be the first to move. In the end I tried it after La Roche-aux-Faucons, without success, and with Van der Breggen controlling we knew it was going to be a sprint finish. After all the wear and tear today and seeing how in races like Men’s Flanders,
Cover image (c): Photo Gomez Sport