After taking her first victory in the colours of Mitchelton-Scott, Jolien D’hoore will immediately be looking for her next at Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem. The Belgian champion will have illustrious support in time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten, who returns to racing following a training block after riding at the Track World Championships.
Completing the line-up will be Santos Women’s Tour winner Amanda Spratt, last year’s Tour of Flanders runner-up Gracie Elvin, Sarah Roy and Jessica Allen.
D’hoore came close in last year’s sprint finish, taking second to Cervelo-Bigla’s Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig. She was racing for Wiggle-High5 then and has since switched to Mitchelton-Scott, winning with the team for the first time at the Driedaagse de Panne on Thursday. With the addition of Van Vleuten, she will have much the same team behind her as she did at De Panne. Van Vleuten believes that this common thread will pay dividends for the team throughout the Classics.
“I really like the approach we have this year with the same team line-up for a certain classics races. It is good to race with the same group and target those races together. It is a very well balanced team, where we can use different tactics and surprise the teams a bit more than the last years,” she said in a team press release.
"I think with the same team we have for Flanders it is very good to race Gent-Wevelgem together. That's also why they asked me to come down [from training] a bit earlier so I can race this one with the Flanders team together. I look forward to being part of the team again after seeing them race recently."
Mitchelton-Scott for Gent-Wevelgem: Jolien D'hoore, Annemiek van Vleuten, Amanda Spratt, Jessica Allen, Sarah Roy, Gracie Elvin.
Barnes aims high at Gent-Wevelgem
Canyon-SRAM have named a strong squad for Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields, with sprinter Hannah Barnes focused on victory, six years after the Belgian Classic was the first race she ever finished as a senior rider.
Barnes will be joined by sister Alice Barnes, Elena Cecchini, Lisa Klein, Alexis Ryan and Trixi Worrack in the Canyon-SRAM line-up.
“In 2012, it was my first race that I finished as a senior and I came 96th,” Barnes recalled. “It’s a nice memory for me because I was 19 years old and for me at that time it was a big goal to finish a race. It was a huge achievement for me.”
“Last year was the second time I’ve raced it. I went into the race quite strong and I really enjoyed the race and I performed well. I’ve got a lot of family and friends coming from the UK to watch on Sunday, I think it’s a race that suits me well. I’d like to win Gent-Wevelgem. We’re going with a strong team and I’m hoping that we can go there, be the strongest team, be aggressive and win.”
Chloe Hosking: I think I deserve a win
Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) finished second behind Jolien D'hoore (Mitchelton-Scott) in the high-speed sprint that decided Driedaagse De Panne.
The Australian explained to Voxwomen that she had to start her sprint early, with D’hoore well placed to take advantage of the Ale’-Cipollini lead out. However, Hosking is confident a victory is coming soon.
Watch the latest Voxwomen video below.
Vos shows form for Belgian Classics
Marianne Vos had a delayed start to her 2018 road season after her usual cyclo-cross campaign but the European road race champion has shown her form is solid for the spring, with fifth at Ronde van Drenthe and third at last Sunday’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda.
Vos did not ride Driedaagse De Panne on Thursday but will lead the Waowdeals team in Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields and then the Tour of Flanders.
Also in the WaowDeals line-up are: Rotem Gafinovitz, Anouska Koster, Yara Kastelijn, Monique Van de Ree and Jeanne Korevaar.
Driedaagse De Panne highlights - Video
Belgian champion Jolien D’hoore of Mitchelton-Scott won the Driedaagse De Panne outsprinting Chloe Hosking (Alé Cipollini) and Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans) after the last escapee, Mieke Kröger (Team Virtu Cycling), was caught in the final kilometre.
Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle High5) led out the sprint where Hosking took an early lead, but D'hoore came from behind with high speed to take a convincing victory, though she didn't know it was a victory at the time.
Although she didn't ride in Belgium, Niewiadoma kept her lead in the UCI Women's WorldTour classification before the fifth round of the Women’s WorldTour: Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields on Sunday.