GreenEdge scored its first European victory courtesy of Dutch rider Loes Gunnewijk, who out-sprinted her breakaway companion Eleonora Van Dijk (Specialized-Lululemon) on the line in Ghent.
Gunnewijk attacked on the cobbles of the Paddestraat with some 30km left to race, and was later joined by Van Dijk. The pair was able to hold off the chase group by more than a minute before contesting the sprint for victory.
Gunnewijk got the better of Van Dijk to cruise to her first win in the event, while German Trixi Worrack (Specialized-Lululemon) won the sprint for the final podium spot over Martine Bras (Dolmans-Boels).
"It's really special for me to take my first win and for us to win the first European race of the season to continue our winning streak," said Gunnewijk. "We have a really good spirit and work ethic in the team. Everyone wants to work for the leader in any given race. We're happy to race as a team, and this is obvious in our results."
Just before the halfway point of the 119.4km race, a group of 12 riders split on the Côte de Trieu, one of seven climbs on the women's course.
Ten riders powered away with the Greenedge-AIS team being the strongest force in there with three riders, Gunnewijk, Amanda Spratt and Tiffany Cromwell. The other riders in the group were Lise Nöstvold ander Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products-Mistral Home), Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Stichting Rabo Women), Worrack, Elizabeth Armitstead (AA Drink-Loentien.nl), Noemi Cantele (Be Pink) and Martine Bras (Dolmans-Boels).
Once the gap on the peloton was more than a minute, Van Dijk started a solo attempt to get back to the front. It was the move of the race and somehow she pulled it off. “Too bad I wasn’t rewarded more for it. Early on I sat a bit too far when the group got away. I was a bit surprised when they turned right at the Paterberg. It was a mistake from my side that I didn’t know the course well enough but it’s been five years since I rode here,” Van Dijk said.
At the cobbles of the Lange Munte after 98km Gunnewijk upped the pace again. “The co-operation in the group wasn’t perfect and I noticed that my teammates started struggling to keep the pace high. I attacked and only Eleonora [Van Dijk] managed to join me,” Gunnewijk said. T
he duo headed to Ghent together. “Loes sat on my wheel so I reacted once she started her sprint. I was confident and when she attacked with 300m to go I overtook her but then she overtook me again. It was a bit uphill. I should’ve won,” Van Dijk said.
It was an ideal sprint for Gunnewijk. “I needed a long sprint. I returned on her and realized I was faster. I was able to celebrate in the final meters,” Gunnewijk said.
Worrack easily won the sprint for third place and felt the team did a good job on Saturday. “We were in the best position with somebody in front and behind; Van Dijk is fast too,” Worrack told Cyclingnews.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Greenedge-AIS||3:17:14|
|2||Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Team Specialized-Lululemon|
|3||Trixi Worrack (Ger) Team Specialized-Lululemon||0:01:10|
|4||Martine Bras (Ned) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam|
|5||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team|
|6||Noemi Cantele (Ita) Be Pink|
|7||Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team|
|8||Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Greenedge-AIS|
|9||Amanda Spratt (Aus) Greenedge-AIS|
|10||Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team|
|11||Lise Nöstvold (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team||0:01:19|
|12||Chloe Hosking (Aus) Team Specialized-Lululemon||0:01:33|
|13||Latoya Brulee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012|
|14||Christine Majerus (Lux) Team Gsd Gestion|
|15||Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team|
|16||Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies|
|17||Sarah Düster (Ger) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team|
|18||Romy Kasper (Ger) Rusvelo|
|19||Thalita De Jong (Ned) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team|
|20||Sara Mustonen (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team|
|21||Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012|
|22||Irene Van Den Broek (Ned) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam|
|23||Madeleine Olsson (Swe) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team|
|24||Jessie Daams (Bel) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team|
|25||Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies|
|26||Iris Slappendel (Ned) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team|
|27||Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Greenedge-AIS|
|28||Chantal Blaak (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team|
|29||Fröydis Waerstad (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team|
|30||Carlee Taylor (Aus) Vienne Futuroscope|
|31||Regina Bruins (Ned) Skil 1T4I||0:04:46|
|32||Lucy Martin (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team||0:07:17|
|33||Katie Colclough (GBr) Team Specialized-Lululemon|
|34||Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies|
|35||Jolien d'Hoore (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012|
|36||Marlen Jöhrend (Ger) Abus Nutrixxion|
|HD||Anne Arnouts (Bel) Kleo Ladies Team||0:10:01|
|HD||Emma Silversides (GBr) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team|
|HD||Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012|
|HD||Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Faren Honda Team|
|HD||Daniela Gass (Ger) Abus Nutrixxion|
|HD||Evelyn Arys (Bel) Kleo Ladies Team|
|HD||Annelies Dom (Bel) Wielerclub Steeds Vooraan V.Z.W.|
|HD||Laura Van Der Kamp (Ned) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam|
|HD||Mascha Pijnenborg (Ned) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam|
|HD||Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Be Pink|
|HD||Kimberly Buyl (Bel) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team|
|HD||Birgit Lavrijssen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team|
|HD||Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team|
|HD||Petra Dijkman (Ned) Kleo Ladies Team|
|HD||Isabelle Söderberg (Swe) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team|
|HD||Geerike Schreurs (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team|
|HD||Inge Roggeman (Bel) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team|
|HD||Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies|
|HD||Marieke Van Wanroij (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team|
|HD||Willeke Knol (Ned) Van Arckel|
|HD||Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope|
|HD||Belinda Goss (Aus) Abus Nutrixxion|
|HD||Marijn De Vries (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team|
|HD||Andrea Graus (Aut) Vienne Futuroscope|
|HD||Yulia Blindyuk (Rus) Faren Honda Team|
|HD||Elena Utrobina (Rus) Faren Honda Team|