Van der Breggen wins La Fleche Wallonne Feminine

World champion claims fifth title as Van Vleuten and Langvad round out podium

Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) won La Flèche Wallonne Féminine for the fifth time in a row on Wednesday. The world champion emerged as the strongest on the finishing climb, biding her time as a late attack from Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb) was reeled in on the lower slopes of the Mur de Huy.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) increased the pace and took the lead, but van der Breggen surged past with about 200 metres to go and held off Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) and Annika Langvad (Boels Dolmans) to win.

How it unfolded

Starting and finishing in Huy, the race included seven ascents of four hard climbs on 118.5 kilometres. The Côte d’Ereffe, Côte de Cherave and Mur de Huy were part of a finishing circuit and each climbed twice in the final 50km. Unfortunately, the women's Flèche Wallonne was not broadcast live, the first of this year's UCI Women's WorldTour races not to offer live footage.

After several unsuccessful attempts to form a break in the early parts of the race, a group of six that formed after 30km got away. Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar Team), Diana Peñuela (Alé Cipollini), Lauren Stephens (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank), Loes Adegeest (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Tatiana Riabchenko (Doltcini-Van Eyck), and Marie-Soleil Blais (Astana Women’s Team) increased their advantage to 2:30 minutes on the Côte de Wârre, the first climb of the day, though Adegeest had to let go of the group.

Due to a high pace by the peloton, only 35 seconds were left at the start of the Côte d’Ereffe where the break fell apart. Riabchenko was the last escapee to be caught 42km from the finish. On the Côte de Cherave, Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) and Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) set a high pace that reduced the size of the peloton.

The first ascent of the Mur de Huy with 29km to go was not yet done at full speed, enabling Riabchenko to crest the climb in first position, closely followed by a peloton of about 40 riders. After all these efforts, the Belarusian eventually finished in a strong 19th place.

Four riders launched an attack with 22km left to race: Jeanne Korevaar (CCC-Liv), Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Cylance), Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo), and Olga Shekel (Astana Women's Team) started the Côte d’Ereffe 20 seconds ahead of the peloton that had grown to around 60 riders. They held this advantage on the climb but were caught in the following descent.

Alison Jackson (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) attacked with 10km to go, but the Canadian was reeled in on the Côte de Cherave. Niewiadoma attacked for the first time, which led to a group of 13 riders containing most of the favourites breaking away on the climb. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) was the next to go over the top but was caught in the descent to the Meuse river where more riders came back from behind.

Then it was Mackaij, who launched a solo attack with less than three kilometres to go and got a gap of 15 seconds. She led the race onto the final kilometre up the Mur de Huy but ultimately could not hold off the strongest riders.

Van der Breggen passed Mackaij with about 500 metres to go, then Niewiadoma made her move and took the lead. Using her experience, van der Breggen waited until the final 200 metres where she passed Niewiadoma and rode to her fifth consecutive Flèche Wallonne victory.

Behind van der Breggen, her teammate Langvad showed a strong performance and was passed only by van Vleuten, who took second place ahead of the Dane.

Van Vleuten is now only 60 points behind UCI Women's WorldTour leader Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtu Cycling), who was not racing today. Sofia Bertizzolo (Team Virtu Cycling) continues to lead youth classification at the Women's WorldTour, tied in points with runner-up Marta Cavalli (Valcar Cylance). 


Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam3:17:04 
2Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women0:00:01 
3Annika Langvad (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:00:04 
4Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv0:00:14 
5Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg0:00:16 
6Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM0:00:17 
7Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv0:00:20 
8Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:00:23 
9Brodie Chapman (Aus) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:00:26 
10Margarita Victo Garcia Cañellas (Spa) Movistar Team Women0:00:33 
11Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women0:00:36 
12Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team  
13Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
14Julie Van de Velde (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:00:38 
15Rachel Neylan (Aus) Team Virtu Cycling0:00:40 
16Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:00:45 
17Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women0:00:51 
18Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
19Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport0:00:54 
20Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women0:00:56 
21Jolanda Neff (Swi) Trek-Segafredo Women0:01:01 
22Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) BePink  
23Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo Women0:01:09 
24Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Parkhotel Valkenburg0:01:10 
25Elise Chabbey (Swi) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:01:14 
26Anastasiia Chursina (Rus) BTC City Ljubljana0:01:15 
27Erica Magnaldi (Ita) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling0:01:19 
28Katharine Hall (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:01:22 
29Urska Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana0:01:24 
30Marta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar-Cylance Cycling0:01:38 
31Evita Muzic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:01:41 
32Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:01:44 
33Maria Novolodskaya (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look0:01:46 
34Eider Merino Cortazar (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
35Nikola Noskova (Cze) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:01:56 
36Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM0:01:59 
37Alison Jackson (Can) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:02:03 
38Juliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb Women  
39Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano0:02:06 
40Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women0:02:07 
41Olga Shekel (Ukr) Astana Women's Team0:02:15 
42Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Ale Cipollini0:02:17 
43Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling0:02:19 
44Marion Sicot (Fra) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport0:02:23 
45Katia Ragusa (Ita) BePink0:02:26 
46Sophie Wright (GBr) Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
47Lara Vieceli (Ita) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling  
48Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
49Anouska Koster (Ned) Team Virtu Cycling0:02:30 
50Elena Pirrone (Ita) Astana Women's Team0:02:35 
51Whitney Allison (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint0:02:40 
52Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana0:02:44 
53Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling0:02:51 
54Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Cylance Cycling  
55Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) CCC-Liv  
56Janneke Ensing (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:03:23 
57Danielle Christmas (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:04:34 
58Sofia Beggin (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano0:04:42 
59Victorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:04:51 
60Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women0:04:57 
61Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Valcar-Cylance Cycling0:05:00 
62Riejanne Markus (Ned) CCC-Liv0:05:07 
63Nadia Quagliotto (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:05:15 
64Barbara Malcotti (Ita) Valcar-Cylance Cycling0:07:11 
65Shannon Malseed (Aus) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:07:18 
66Agnieszka Skalniak (Pol) CCC-Liv0:07:33 
67Grace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women0:08:43 
68Elizabeth Banks (GBr) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:08:58 
69Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women0:09:19 
70Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo Women  
71Leigh Ganzar (USA)  
72Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM0:09:26 
73Jade Wiel (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:09:27 
74Mikayla Harvey (NZl) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:09:45 
75Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM0:09:47 
76Romy Kasper (Ger) Ale Cipollini  
77Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Movistar Team Women0:09:58 
78Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women  
DNFHarriet Owen (GBr) Hagens Berman-Supermint  
DNFZsófia Szabó (Hun) Health Mate-Ladies Team  
DNFChantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFVania Canvelli (Ita) BePink  
DNFSimona Frapporti (Ita) BePink  
DNFNicole Steigenga (Ned) BePink  
DNFSilvia Valsecchi (Ita) BePink  
DNFKylie Waterreus (Ned) Health Mate-Ladies Team  
DNFLara Defour (Bel) Health Mate-Ladies Team  
DNFVeronika Anna Kormos (Hun) Health Mate-Ladies Team  
DNFEsther Meisels (Isr) Health Mate-Ladies Team  
DNFElizaveta Oshurkova (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look  
DNFJesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport  
DNFSeverine Eraud (Fra) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport  
DNFMieke Docx (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport  
DNFNicole Nesti (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano  
DNFCarmela Cipriani (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano  
DNFAngelica Brogi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano  
DNFLily Williams (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint  
DNFAnastasiia Pliaskina (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look  
DNFSuzanne Verhoeven (Bel) Health Mate-Ladies Team  
DNFOlga Deyko (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look  
DNFAntri Christoforou (Cyp) Cogeas Mettler Look  
DNFGulnaz Badykova (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look  
DNFLiza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint  
DNFLauren Stephens (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFLindsay Goldman (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint  
DNFMarie Dessart (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFLetizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano  
DNFMoniek Tenniglo (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women  
DNFGloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFLorena Llamas Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFElena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM  
DNFAlexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM  
DNFSara Penton (Swe) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFLouise Hansen (Den) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFRoxane Knetemann (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFEugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFMia Radotic (Cro) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women  
DNFPaulien Rooijakkers (Ned) CCC-Liv  
DNFJip van den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
DNFEva Buurman (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
DNFChantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
DNFAnisha Vekemans (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport  
DNFMarie Le Net (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFGabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling  
DNFEsther van Veen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFLoes Adegeest (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFRozanne Slik (Ned) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFNina Kessler (Ned) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFJeydy Pradera Bernal (Cub) Astana Women's Team  
DNFMarina Kurnossova (Kaz) Astana Women's Team  
DNFUrska Bravec (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFCoryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women  
DNFUrska Zigart (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFKathrin Hammes (Ger) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling  
DNFLaura Asencio (Fra) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling  
DNFKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Ale Cipollini  
DNFDiana Carolina Peñuela Martinez (Col) Ale Cipollini  
DNFAlessia Vigilia (Ita) Valcar-Cylance Cycling  
DNFDalia Muccioli (Ita) Valcar-Cylance Cycling  
DNFSylvie Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFMarie Soleil Blais (Can) Astana Women's Team  


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