Women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen 2024 Race Preview


Women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen History

The women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen has secured itself in the cycling calendar over the past decade, evolving from its origins at the national level in 2012 to attaining UCI status in 2017. Among its early champions, Amy Pieters stands out with a remarkable three consecutive victories from 2014 to 2016, while Jolien d’Hoore secured the runner-up position twice before the race’s UCI registration. In calm weather years, Dwars Door Vlaanderen certainly can come down to a reduced group sprint.

In 2023, the race witnessed a stunning performance by Demi Vollering, who spectacularly claimed victory. Vollering navigated the challenging course, showcasing her skills on both climbs and cobbled sections. As the race unfolded, the cobbled ascent of Nokereberg emerged as a potential launching pad for late attacks, setting the stage for a thrilling finale.

With only a narrow gap remaining in the final kilometres, riders pushed themselves to the limit, vying for position and sprinting towards the line. Her commanding performance left her competitors trailing behind as she crossed the finish line 38 seconds ahead of her rivals.

The 2024 race route, featuring early climbs and challenging cobbled sections, provides ample opportunities for attacking. Riders will jostle for position as the peloton tackles the many climbs and cobbled sections. They include Ladeuze, Huisepontweg and Herlegemstraat. With the added factor of decent winds and potential rainfall, the race dynamics are likely to be further intensified, favouring aggressive riding and attacks.

Previous Winners

Demi Vollering
Chiara Consonni
Annemiek van Vleuten

Women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen 2024 Profile

TV Coverage

Wednesday 27th March 2024

Live on Eurosport/Discovery across Europe
FloBikes in USA/Canada
Pickx in Belgium (freely available but a VPN is needed)

All times in GMT


Startlist: FirstCycling

Women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen 2024 Contenders

It’s tough to look past SD Worx here, especially as they’re bringing the big hitters. For Demi Vollering it’s a first race after altitude training which is sometimes a good indication that a rider is going to come back firing on all cylinders. Her win last year was from simply being too strong on the climbs and not having a chase strong enough to catch up again. She’s supported by Lotte Kopecky, who could similarly go solo in her own right here and we know is obviously in great form. Her best previous finish of 6th comes from what feels like a lifetime ago in 2017. Lorena Wiebes has raced twice here and been a DNF twice but the way she’s climbing punchy hills at the moment and the flat finish puts her in with a case. If the race stays together she’s going to be tough to beat.

UAE Team ADQ’s Chiara Consonni traditionally does well here with a win in 2022 and the first rider to finish behind Demi Vollering last year too. The Italian has usually been the fastest rider on paper still in the front group and it will be up to the other teams to try and drop her on the climbs beforehand. The team can pivot to several other options though, the likes of Silvia Persico, Karlijn Swinkels, Eleonora Gasparrini and Sofia Bertizzolo could all do well in a sprint here after the hills. Karlijn Swinkels is the only one to have been in the top-10 before though.

We get to see Marianne Vos back racing after a month off. Her win at Omloop het Nieuwsblad was a nice way to kick off the season and 9th at Strade Bianche was solid as well. Both of those results indicate that she has got some climbing legs again and that should put her in a good position for the finish. she won’t necessarily go with a solo rider but will use that cunning and guile to be in the hunt. Her teammate Fem van Empel is going to be an interesting one too. I’m writing this before Gent Wevelgem, her return race, where we’ll see how she fares on the road after a strong CX season. 

Lidl-Trek will also be strong with Elisa Longo Borghini leading the team. She’s certainly strong enough to be attacking the climbs and powering on to the finish. She managed to get clear against a weaker startlist at Trofeo Oro in Euro but might find it tough against SD Worx. She’s supported by a 2-time Dwars Door Vlaanderen winner in Ellen van Dijk and the in-form Shirin van Anrooij. I don’t expect Van Dijk to be quite up to those levels yet but she’s done well so far with 3rd in GC at the Tour de Normandie and 6th at Vuelta Extremadura. Van Anrooij was 4th at Omloop het Nieuwsblad and 5th at Strade Bianche to show she’s strong. Lucinda Brand could also put herself in the mix too, she was on the podium at the 2019 edition of Dwars Door Vlaanderen.

Vittoria Guazzini
Vittoria Guazzini

This is one of those races where you think Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig would be a strong contender but the Dane only has a best result of 21st at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. We’ll see if she stays on the startlist too, she suffered a fractured sacrum at Omloop het Nieuwsblad at the end of February and might not be ready for action yet. In that case, the leadership role will probably pass to Vittoria Guazzini. She’s been having a good Spring so far in 2024 with a win at Le Samyn des Dames and a pair of WWT top-10 results. She’s been 4th twice at Dwars Door Vlaanderen in the past. Grace Brown was also 6th here in the past back in 2021 but hasn’t quite found her feet yet since starting the European part of the season.

Kim Le Court has been impressive in her first Women’s WorldTour season, notching up a 2nd top-10 result at the highest level in Classic Brugge-De Panne. The Mauritian is a good all-rounder with a quick finish and a plenty big enough engine too. She should be the strongest option for AG Insurance-Soudal and give the team an option to rally around.

The start of the season has been a long time coming for Liane Lippert after injury issues this off-season. She suits this race and has been in the top-10 a couple of times previously at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. If she does make her return here, she may not quite be at full race pace yet with some catching up to do. Teammate Floortje Mackaij has a strong record in the past here, finishing 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th since 2015. She was 6th at Nokere Koerse for her best result of the 2024 season but will need a small group to go clear to match her previous good results. Emma Norsgaard has been resisting just waiting for the final sprints this season, going on the attack in a 1-2 option with Mackaij at Gent Wevelgem. She can get a solid result here but if she continues this vein of tactics, it will be an all-or-nothing affair.

Ruby Roseman-Gannon chose to skip Gent Wevelgem to give the Aussie a few more days to recover from the crash she suffered at Nokere Koerse. She suffered on to finish 11th still that day but has some particularly visible cuts to her legs with plenty of blood on display. Hopefully good to go here, she was 5th last season and should be in the mix again in the group sprint to the line. With no Ruby Roseman-Gannon, the team will go with Letizia Paternoster. She was a good 4th at Ronde van Drenthe but tailed off slightly at Nokere Koerse and Gent Wevelgem, with a mechanical letting her down at the latter. She’s never raced Dwars Door Vlaanderen but there is plenty of upside for the Italian.

Puck PIeterse

Puck Pieterse is going to lead the chances of Fenix-Deceuninck again here and is showing that she will have a solid road career whenever she wants to commit to it. Podiums at Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Ronde van Drenthe are an indication that she’s knocking on the door and isn’t far away from a big win. She’ll be supported by Yara Kastelijn who maybe could get a good result but think she’ll play a role in getting Pieterse to the finish safely. Julie de Wilde was 2nd here in 2022 but we haven’t seen anything like that form so far in 2024 yet.

Another rider doing well at the moment is Thalita de Jong. She was 5th here way back in 2017 and could improve on that in 2024. She’s been close to a win, with 2nd places at both a Tour de Normandie stage and GP Oetingen recently. She seems to be ok on the climbs, with 5th at Omloop het Nieuwsblad a good example and also has a strong kick too. Maybe not quite that of the pure sprinters but enough to put her in contention.

Solbjørk Minke Anderson is having a good 2024 season too. The Dane for Uno-X seems to have taken the jump to the Women’s WorldTour in her stride, finishing 6th at GP Oetingen and 9th at Trofeo Oro in Euro. Both of those included plenty of climbing which should put her into contention near the finish.

We might see Rachele Barbieri contest the sprint here but it all depends on how hard the climbs are raced and whether she can get back to the front of the race after them. The Italian was 3rd at Drentse Acht to showcase her form when not working for Charlotte Kool and also finished 6th here in 2022. Teammates Francesca Barale and Nienke Vinke were particularly strong in Australia 2 months ago but haven’t yet brought those results to Europe again. Barale looked solid here last year and we’ve seen on Willunga Hill that Vinke can climb well.

Cedrine Kerbaol
Cedrine Kerbaol

Marta Lach goes well on hilly courses with a fast finish. She’s been flirting with the top-10 in recent races and might get a shot here to see what she can do. The Pole has never raced here before however and neither has her teammate Cedrine Kerbaol. The French rider had an ok Tour de Normandie, whilst trying to defend her title from 2022, finishing 12th in GC there with consistent finishes but no major headline maker. She does have a win in 2024 already though, back at the Vuelta CV Feminas.

Both Ruth Edwards and Daria Pikulik have recent podiums coming into the 2024 Women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen. For Edwards, it came in Italy at the Trofeo Oro in Euro where she hung on to a group with some more obvious climbers and then was able to sprint past at the finish. Pikulik’s came at the Classic Brugge-De Panne where the Pole got herself into a strong position and finished well behind the pre-race favourite Charlotte Kool and Elisa Balsamo. Pikulik might struggle to get over the hills here so we might see Edwards contesting the finish for Human Powered Health.

Victoire Berteau is looking in strong form at the moment after finishing 4th in GC at the Tour de Normandie and 5th at the Ronde van Drenthe. The French national champion seems to be putting herself in the mix on a regular consistent basis this season and will be hunting down a WWT contract for next season. Her best previous result here was 14th last season.

Women’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen 2024 Outsiders

Heidi Franz
Heidi Franz

Lifeplus-Wahoo will be hoping for a good result here from Heidi Franz. The American has been supporting teammates for a lot of the Spring so far but this one feels like one for her. She’s not raced it before but is a strong enough all-rounder to be able to crest the climbs and do ok in the sprint too. Her teammate Kaja Rysz is also having a good 2024 campaign and continues to be a rider on the cusp of a big result.

Neither has a particularly good record here but both of Coop-Repsol’s Sigrid Ytterhus Haugset and India Grangier have been going well in recent races. Haugset looked good at the Vuelta Extremadura, finishing 4th in GC after making it to 6th place on the shortened queen stage. That bodes well for some attacking uphill racing here. India Grangier is yet to finish in the top-10 in 2024 but the French rider has been remarkably consistent in finishing between 10th and 25th instead. She might be able to finally crack the top-10 here.

Sofie van Rooijen has been sprinting well in recent weeks, winning Drentse Acht, following it up with 4th at Nokere Koerse and then 13th at Classic Brugge-De Panne. The latter saw Van Rooijen just out of position on a technical finish and whilst fast, had too much left to do. The question here is whether she can do something similar on a hilly race like Dwars Door Vlaanderen. 

Top 3 Prediction

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