Blaak wins Gent-Wevelgem Women

Brennauer second and Brand third

Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) soloed to victory at Gent Wevelgem on Easter Sunday to assume the lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour. The 26-year-old slipped away from a select group of around 20 riders with ten kilometres still to race. Gap gained, Blaak never looked back, eventually reaching the finish line 1:24 ahead of a seven-rider chase group. Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-SRAM) edged out Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) in the small group sprint for second.

“It feels so good,” said Blaak in a post-race interview with Voxwomen. “I’m really happy to win this race.”

It’s a continuation of a stellar spring for Blaak, who finished second at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to teammate Lizzie Armistead and won Le Samyn and Ronde van Drenthe. Blaak’s results are part of a dominate early season for Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team. The Dutch-registered squad has won every round to date of the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour. Armitstead opened the series with a win at Strade Bianche. Blaak won from a small group at Ronde van Drenthe. Armistead snagged a second victory in Italy with a late race attack at Trofeo Binda. And today Blaak won Gent Wevelgem.

“The plan was to have numbers in the front and we had,” said Blaak. “Then you have to finish it together. It was cool that we did it.”

The 2016 women’s edition of Gent Wevelgem covered 115 kilometres with the race’s five ‘hellingen’ grouped mid-course. By the time the race had reached the first ascent of the Kemmelberg at the 51-kilometre mark, the peloton had split into two distinct groups. Following the first passage of the Kemmelberg, and elite selection had been made. Twenty-seven riders formed the leading group, and Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team had the full squad of six amongst the leaders.

“It was a really windy race,” said Blaak. “It split already early. The Kemmelberg was really hard, and after the Kemmelberg, we were still with the whole team, so that was impressive. The girls did such a good job.”

The attacks came thick and fast over the cobbles and climbs that make the region of Flanders famous in the sport of cycling. The attacks softened the reduced bunch and caused a further selection following the second time up the Kemmelberg.

With the climbs completed and 30 kilometres still to race, world champion Lizzie Armistead attacked twice in quick succession. A counter-attack by Blaak followed Armistead’s catch. The Dutchwoman immediately opened up a small gap on three chasers – Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-SRAM), Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-AIS).

“We started to play with numbers,” said Blaak. “In the end, I have an attack and the confidence that the girls were behind me. It was really good teamwork today.”

The UCI Women’s WorldTour continues next Sunday with the Tour of Flanders. “Next week is Flanders,” said Blaak. “I’m really looking forward to starting in this [Women’s WorldTour] jersey at my favourite classic.”

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 Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team2:56:00 
2Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon-SRAM0:01:24 
3Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
4Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle High5  
5Carmen Small (USA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
6Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS  
7Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Liv-Plantur  
8Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
9Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle High50:01:27 
10Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:01:32 
11Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:02:23 
12Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM  
13Jolanda Neff (Swi) Servetto Footon  
14Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica-AIS  
15Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5  
16Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) Bepink  
17Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
18Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle High50:04:24 
19Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS  
20Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
21Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
22Joelle Numainville (Can) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
23Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Zannata  
24Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS0:04:25 
25Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Alé Cipollini  
26Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur0:05:15 
27Anouska Koster (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
28Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM  
29Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
30Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle High5  
31Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana  
32Elizabeth Williams (Aus) Orica-AIS  
33Eileen Roe (GBr) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team  
34Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products  
35Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
36Chanella Stougje (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team  
37Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
38Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
39Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM  
40Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team  
41Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare Women  
42Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or  
43Allie Dragoo (USA) Twenty16 - Ridebiker  
44Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
45Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM  
46Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
47Loren Rowney (Aus) Orica-AIS  
48Janneke Ensing (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team  
49Linda Melanie Villumsen (NZl) UnitedHealthcare Women  
50Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products  
51Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
52Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
53Valerie Demey (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or0:05:21 
54Lauren Stephens (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:05:24 
55Brianna Walle (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:05:40 
56Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team0:07:02 
57Alison Jackson (Can) Twenty16 - Ridebiker  
58Eugénie Duval (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86  
59Ann-Sofie Duyck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or  
60Nina Kessler (Ned) Lensworld-Zannata  
61Iris Slappendel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Women  
62Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Bepink  
63Sara Mustonen (Swe) Team Liv-Plantur  
64Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
65Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
66Esra Tromp (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team  
67Ganna Solovei (Ukr) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team0:10:45 
68Jelena Eric (Srb) BTC City Ljubljana  
69Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
70Diana Peñuela (Col) UnitedHealthcare Women  
71Anna Plichta (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana  
72Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or  
73Clara Koppenburg (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
74Katia Ragusa (Ita) Servetto Footon  
75Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Servetto Footon  
76Sofia Arreola (Mex) Twenty16 - Ridebiker  
77Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products  
78Dani King (GBr) Wiggle High5  
79Leah Thomas (USA) Twenty16 - Ridebiker  
80Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Twenty16 - Ridebiker  
81Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata  
82Jessica Cerra (USA) Twenty16 - Ridebiker  
83Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
84Alison Tetrick (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling  
85Lauren Komanski (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
86Louisa Lobigs (Aus) Australia  
87Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:10:49 
88Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Hitec Products  
89Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Bepink0:11:20 
DNFJulia Soek (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
DNFKyara Stijns (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
DNFRiejanne Markus (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur  
DNFJessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFWilleke Knol (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFCecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Nor) Hitec Products  
DNFCharlotte Becker (Ger) Hitec Products  
DNFNicole Brändli (Swi) Servetto Footon  
DNFMolly Meyvisch (Bel) Servetto Footon  
DNFAnna Potokina (Rus) Servetto Footon  
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
DNFMartina Alzini (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
DNFEmilia Fahlin (Swe) Alé Cipollini  
DNFShelley Olds (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFValentina Scandolara (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFRachele Barbieri (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFSheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFAnnelies Dom (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata  
DNFWinanda Spoor (Ned) Lensworld-Zannata  
DNFKaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata  
DNFMonique Van De Ree (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team  
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team  
DNFLotte Van Hoek (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team  
DNFJesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team  
DNFSarah Inghelbrecht (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team  
DNFGilke Croket (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or  
DNFJessy Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or  
DNFLenore Pipes (Gum) Bepink  
DNFLex Albrecht (Can) Bepink  
DNFTereza Medvedova (Svk) Bepink  
DNFCoral Casado Ortiz (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFRoos Hoogeboom (Ned) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFLierni Lekuona Etxebeste (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFLourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFPaula Lanz Blazquez (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFNahia Leonet (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFPolona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFMia Radotic (Cro) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFUrsa Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Swi) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
DNFRoxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86  
DNFAude Biannic (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86  
DNFCoralie Demay (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86  
DNFVictorie Guilman (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86  
DNFLauren Hall (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFEmily Collins (NZl) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFHayley Simmonds (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Women  
DNFAnnie Ewart (Can) UnitedHealthcare Women  
DNFShannon Malseed (Aus) Australia  
DNFJenelle Crooks (Aus) Australia  
DNFErin Kinnealy (Aus) Australia  
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Australia  
DNSKimberley Wells (Aus) Australia  

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