2014 Flèche Wanzoise podium: Aude Biannic (Lointek), Joanne Hogan (Bigla) and Floortje Mackaij (Giant-Shimano)
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Australian out sprinted Floortje Mackaij
Australian Jo Hogan won her first race of 2014 at the Flèche Wanzoise in Belgium as she outsprinted Aude Biannic (Lointek) and Floortje Mackaij (Giant-Shimano) while the defending champion and Bigla teammate Vera Koedooder was fourth, Hogan's win was Bigla's first of the new year and a sign that the Swiss based team have made a wise investment in the 31-year-old.
At around the halfway point the of the 82km race, a group of 15 riders formed a break which contained three Bigla riders, Hogan, Koedooder and Taryn Heather.
The escapees worked well together to stay away from the chasing peloton. Vera Koedooder was the first to attack from the break in the closing kilometers but she was caught just a few kilometres later. Hogan and Biannic were the next to attack and the duo formed a new break which held off the chasers to successfully stay away.
Hogan easily outsprinted Mackaij to claim to race while Koedooder was second in the sprint of the followers to finish just off the podium.
"We had the number in the break, so we tried to play all of our cards coming into the final lap. After Vera's attack, I could see a few girls on the back foot, so I jumped and one other rider, Aude Biannic from Lointek joined me," Hogan told Cyclingnews.
"Coming into the final kilometers she led out and I was able to learn from my past mistakes, to take the two up sprint. It was a great start for the team and for my European season."
The win was celebrated by Bigla's team manager and sports director for the day as both praised Hogan for starting the season with a bang.
"It was our second race this season and we already took the victory. That's absolutely fantastic," Bigla team manager Emil Zimmermann said.
"All of our riders rode very well and deserved the victory. Only Nicole Hanselmann had bad luck when she punctured and lost contact to the field," Bigla sports director Mario Vonhof said.
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