If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again. After knocking on the door of victory in recent months, Amy Pieters finally scored her first win in Wiggle-High5 colours when she claimed her third consecutive Dwars door Vlaanderen title. The Wiggle-High5 team locked out the two top steps of the podium with Jolien D'hoore taking second place ahead of Eileen Roe (Lares-Waowdeals).
"I'm really happy with this victory, especially as it is almost the first one for the team and we've been trying so hard for it," Pieters told Cyclingnews after stepping on the podium. "We have been strong for the whole season, and it didn't work out. I think this is the first race that it worked out."
Pieters was part of a 12-rider group, along with teammate Amy Roberts, that broke free as the peloton began splitting under the pace on the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg. The group was eventually brought back with the flamme rouge in sight but Pieters, led out by Dani King, had the turn of pace to take the victory.
"When we started, we had an open tactic. We knew that we had a good team with so many strong riders. After the Paterberg we had a small breakaway," she explained. "I had one teammate with me but, in the end, it came back but it was one and a half kilometres from the finish, and we sprinted. We were one and two, and I think that it really good for our team."
Pieters had already shown that she was coming into good form with third place at La Samyn des Dames behind Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) and her teammate Emma Johansson. It was the story of team's European campaign thus far, close but not quite there. With a win finally under their belt, Pieters hopes that this is a sign of things to come.
"We have been working so hard for it, and we were close, but it didn't come," she said. "In the end, you want it so much and of course you are happy with podium places, but we want to have victories. Most of the time you have one and then it starts coming so I hope that it is about to start for us."
With that in mind, Pieters can start to look towards the Tour of Flanders, where goes into the race as defending champions after Elisa Longo Borghini soloed to victory in Oudenaarde. The line-up will look a little different to the one she raced with today, but she hopes that they can continue to build on the winning foundations she laid ahead of Flanders.
"We will have another team there. Only Jolien is going to be racing there. We will have to see," said Pieters. "On Sunday we have Gent-Wevelgem, and on Wednesday, we have another race (the Pajot Hills Classic). I hope that we can grow towards Flanders because Flanders is such a big race and I hope that we can do well there with the team."