Judith Arndt wins 2012 Women's Tour of Flanders

Armstrong and Numainville round off the podium

Judith Arndt became the first rider to win on the new look Ronde Van Vlaanderen course by outsprinting Kristin Armstrong. The pair powered away on the Oude Kwaremont 30 kilometres from Oudenaarde finish and left Canadian rider Joelle Numainville to take the group sprint for third.

The one-two result was an identical finish to the ladies' Ronde in 2008, when Arndt (GreenEdge) again edged out Armstrong who was back in Europe at the head of an American team.

"It had a good end for me," Arndt said modestly afterwards. "I was looking forward to the last 20kms – I like it better than the old course. It's kind of strange that it was exactly the same result as four years ago." She added.

The race lacked the presence Dutch champion Marianne Vos who pulled out on the eve of the race through illness, but the hundreds of thousands who lined Belgium's most famous race didn't care and gave vocal support to the 127km event.

The race came to the boil as the peloton hit the cobbles on the Paadestraat section under the pressure of Armstrong's American squad, who were determined to make the 127km race as hard as possible.

A puncture on the Paadestraat wrecked the defending champion, Annemiek Van Vleuten's chances of contending the final.

"Our goal was to be barely able to finish at the line." said Armstrong's teammate, Kristin McGrath. "We all were making attacks to keep the peloton strung out so Armstrong could attack on the Kwaremont, and the plan worked."

Numerous probing attacks were made as the race travelled over the Berendries, Valkenberg and Kanarieberg climbs at the heart of the race. According to reports the peloton was frequently split into large groups. At one point, more than a minute separated the first and second bunches.

The decisive move was made amid the screaming fans on the Kwaremont, when Carmen Small-McNellis of the United States team hit the bottom of the climb in first place and made the perfect platform for Armstrong, the reigning Olympic TT champion to make her move. Only Arndt, the World TT champion had the legs to stay with her.

However at the finish British National Champion Lizzie Armitstead said race communication broke down and the chasing peloton weren't being given time gaps or even knew who was ahead.

"We just had to pull the last 15kms and bring back the group, but weren't getting any times or numbers."

She said: "I'm disappointed. I think my inexperience showed. I've only done Flanders once before and I was too excited. In went with an attack after the Kanarieberg and again just before the Oude Kwaremont so the attack was caught and when they come past you with speed it's hard to [get on]."

While Armitstead's AA Drinks-Leontien.nl squad tried rein in the break in the closing stages, the combined strength of the two world-beating time-trialists was too much.

The pair collaborated all the way to the final kilometre. "I was surprised we were the only two left," said Arndt. "In a sprint like this you pretty much feel immediately if you are going to beat the other or not.

"We're both similar types of rider. We don't really have an acceleration so we both knew if we wanted to win we had to do a long sprint. I watched her like a track rider and she started to go at about 350m. I also started immediately." It was Arndt's fourth victory this year, including the overall at the Ladies' Tour of Qatar.

For Armstrong who has her sights firmly set on the London Olympic Games, it was a satisfying performance.

"It makes me feel good. I wanted to come into the early season so I can take a break before London. I have to come in strong to show that I can race in Europe. This is just one more step towards selection."


# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Judith Arndt (Ger) Greenedge-Ais 3:19:05  
2 Kristin Armstrong (USA) USA National Team 0:00:02  
3 Joelle Numainville (Can) Canada National Team 0:00:30  
4 Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team    
5 Adrie Visser (Ned) Skil 1T4I    
6 Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Team Specialized-Lululemon    
7 Evelyn Arys (Bel) Kleo Ladies Team    
8 Christine Majerus (Lux) Team GSD Gestion    
9 Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team    
10 Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Be Pink    
11 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team    
12 Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team    
13 Carmen Mcnellis Small (USA) USA National Team    
14 Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012    
15 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Greenedge-Ais    
16 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Rusvelo    
17 Audrey Cordon (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope    
18 Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team    
19 Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Vaiano Tepso    
20 Amélie Rivat (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope    
21 Megan Guarnier (USA) Tibco-To The Top    
22 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Team Specialized-Lululemon    
23 Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team    
24 Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam    
25 Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Mcipollini Giambenini    
26 Denise Ramsden (Can) Canada National Team    
27 Chantal Blaak (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team    
28 Andrea Dvorak (USA) USA National Team    
29 Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) Rusvelo    
30 Tayler Wiles (USA) USA National Team    
31 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Be Pink    
32 Evelyn Stevens (USA) Team Specialized-Lululemon    
33 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Greenedge-Ais    
34 Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team    
35 Emma Pooley (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team 0:00:54  
36 Liesbet De Vocht (Bel) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team 0:01:52  
37 Martina Corazza (Ita) Kleo Ladies Team    
38 Samantha Schneider (USA) Tibco-To The Top    
39 Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Rusvelo    
40 Monia Baccaille (Ita) Mcipollini Giambenini    
41 Leah Kirchmann (Can) Canada National Team    
42 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Team Specialized-Lululemon    
43 Kristin Mcgrath (USA) USA National Team    
44 Irina Molicheva (Rus) Rusvelo    
45 Clara Hughes (Can) Team Specialized-Lululemon    
46 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Greenedge-Ais    
47 Sarah Düster (Ger) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team    
48 Lauren Hall (USA) Tibco-To The Top    
49 Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies 0:01:57  
50 Annelies Van Doorslaer (Bel) Kleo Ladies Team 0:04:46  
51 Julia Martisova (Rus) Be Pink    
52 Ine Beyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012    
53 Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) Diadora-Pasta Zara    
54 Valentina Carretta (Ita) Mcipollini Giambenini    
55 Josien Van Wingerden (Ned) Netherlands National Team    
56 Lucinda Brand (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team    
57 Amanda Miller (USA) Tibco-To The Top    
58 Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies    
59 Lise Nöstvold (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team 0:07:44  
60 Romy Kasper (Ger) Rusvelo    
61 Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team    
62 Mascha Pijnenborg (Ned) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam 0:08:56  
63 Lucy Martin (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team    
64 Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) Be Pink    
65 Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Mcipollini Giambenini    
66 Anne Arnouts (Bel) Kleo Ladies Team    
67 Polona Batagelj (Slo) Diadora-Pasta Zara    
68 Valentina Scandolara (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox    
69 Regina Bruins (Ned) Skil 1T4I    
70 Alona Andruk (Ukr) Diadora-Pasta Zara    


Related Articles

Back to top