D’hoore returns to Antwerp to defend Diamond Tour title

Brennauer, Pieters, Cure look to win in Belgium

Belgian champion Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-Honda) will return to the Flanders Diamond Tour to defend her title in the UCI 1.1 race held in Antwerp, Belgium on Sunday.

D’hoore had a stellar start to the season with wins at Le Samyn des Dames, Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe World Cup and a stage at the Energiewacht Tour, and second place at the Tour of Flanders World Cup. Although she has not raced since April at the Dwars door de Westhoek, she is looking forward to taking to the start line again this weekend.

“I’m really excited to race again,” D’hoore said in a Wiggle-Honda press release. “Actually I’ve had one of the best preparations for the road season. I’ve had three weeks in an altitude chamber, which hopefully gives me some benefits in the coming races.

“I had a really good training in the last couple of weeks, and I’m looking forward to racing again, putting a number on; I’ve really missed it. I had a two-week break, and then it’s been training, training, training. I’m ready now, and I just want to race!” she said.

Last year while racing with the Lotto Belisol Ladies team, D’hoore won the Diamond Tour in a sprint ahead of Beatrice Bartelloni.

D’hoore will have a strong team to support her with Anna Christian, Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Annette Edmondson and Eileen Roe.

Many of the women’s teams are currently racing at the Euskal Emakumeen Bira stage race in Spain, however, there are still a number of strong competitors who will be looking to take the one-day win.

World time trial champion Lisa Brennauer will lead Velocio-SRAM, Amy Pieters for Liv-Plantur and Amy Cure of Lotto Soudal Ladies are all among the top riders on the start list.

The 23 teams also include Lensworld.eu, Topsport Vlaanderen, Matrix Fitness, ParkHotel Valkenburg, Keukens Redant, Jos Feron Lady Force, De Jonge Renner, Swabo Ladies Cycling Team, Aprire/HSS Hire, Euregio Ladies, Napoleon Games, Isorex Ladies, Autoglas Wetteren, De Sprinters Malderen, Jan Van Arckel, Koga Ladies, Restore Cycling, and national teams from Belgium and Luxembourg.

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