AFTER A RELATIVELY QUIET START TO THE DAY WITH NO ATTACKS ABLE TO GO CLEAR, TEAM SUNWEB DECIDED TO ANIMATE THE RACE AND BEGAN TO ENTICE THE ACTION GOING INTO THE FINALE.
As the race hit 100km, Team Sunweb’s Rozanne Slik launched an attack that saw her lead solo, taking a lead of 1’30”. After 16km of leading the race and forcing other teams to chase hard, Rozanne rejoined the peloton and immediately more attacks came from the bunch. It was a move of four that went clear and whilst the team were not represented, they chased hard to bring them back. After an intense effort, the race came back together and once again saw another four riders break free. When it looked like the race may come down to a finale between these four Ellen van Dijk jumped on the chase. The teams efforts were instrumental in bringing the breakaway back and with just 1km to the finish, the race came back together for a bunch sprint. After a brilliant effort from the entire team, Coryn Rivera sprinted to her second UCIWWT victory of the season. Her efforts also mean that she has taken over the overall lead in the UCIWWT, and will wear the leaders jersey going into the next race.
“The team did a brilliant job keeping the leaders safe and in a good position throughout the race. When the going got tough the team animated the race with Rozanne taking a lead before the Kanarieberg. Here we showed our intentions to make it a hard race and when the first bunch of 30 exploded on the Kruisberg, we were up there but we couldn’t follow on the climb. The team gave everything on the Kwaremont to get the group back at the wheel and we almost closed it, but in the end we couldn’t follow the four best climbers. From the moment that Hans made the call to go full gas for me, Ellen took charge of the pace. The sprint was absolutely thrilling, but I still feel like I am dreaming.”
“Today is a perfect example of how this team can create a plan and make it work no matter what,” said Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans. “We missed the power on the hills which makes it even more impressive that we took the win today. All six of our riders did a perfect job today and you need a complete team effort to win Flanders. We are thrilled to take the win at such a prestigious race.”
Ellen said after the team’s win: “It’s so great to see the full commitment of our team work out. We all give 100% for each other and that makes the difference in the end. The team was committed to put me in a good position but I just couldn’t make that front break of four. From that moment we chased full and changed the plan to go for the sprint. It was so great to see Coryn finish off the team’s work. Everybody in this team has a played a big part in this victory. The riders, but also the staff. The race was prepared into detail in every way. These things together make the difference.”
Ronde van Vlaanderen results:
1. Coryn Rivera (Team-Sunweb) 04:02:38
2. Gracie Elvin (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
3. Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) ST