Rivera wins Tour of Flanders Women

American sprints to victory in Oudenaarde

Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) won the Tour of Flanders Women with a perfectly timed sprint in Oudenaarde, seeing off the challenge of Gracie Elvin (Orica-Scott) and Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans).

The race was animated by an elite break containing  Elisa Longo Borghini, Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten, but they were caught on the run-in, and Rivera, helped by teammate Ellen van Dijk, delivered a fine sprint to claim the win.

The victory is Rivera's second for her new team after she won Trofeo Alfredo Binda last month.

A 15-rider chase group caught a four-rider breakaway with one kilometre remaining to set the stage for a reduced bunch gallop. Around 300 metres from the finish line, Rivera opened the sprint and held on to take the biggest victory of her young career.

"This is unbelievable," said Rivera in her first post-race television interview. "I can't begin to explain it yet."

It's the second Women's WorldTour victory for Rivera who moved from UnitedHeathcare to Team Sunweb at the start of the 2017 season. She credits her team, particularly 2014 Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Ellen van Dijk, with her newfound success in Europe.

"When your team goes all out for you like that, you definitely have to do your job," said Rivera. "The pressure was on."

How it unfolded

The women's peloton rolled out for the start of Ronde van Vlaanderen under sunny skies from the market square of Oudenaarde. Sunday’s menu included the longest route yet: a 153-kilometre course with 12 climbs, some cobbled, and five additional cobbled sections. Like the men's event, the women's race finished back in Oudennarde.

There were several early escape attempts, but none of the breakaways managed to gain any traction. The race came to life over the infamous Muur of Geraardsbergen with five climbs and 60 kilometres remaining.

Rozanne Slik (Team Sunweb) slipped away from the 50-rider selection that had formed over the Muur. She gained a 90-second advantage and spent 20 kilometres away before she was caught on the Kanarieberg.

Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3) countered Slik's catch. The attack sounded an alarm amongst the leaders. Lizzie Deignan (Boels-Dolmans) immediately jumped on the move. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5), Ashleigh Moolman Paiso (Cervelo-Bigla) and Elena Cecchini (Canyon SRAM) followed. A stretched out and slimmed down bunch quickly caught the quartet but damage had been done. Where there had once been 50 up front, only 30-odd riders remained. 

Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans) led that group into the Kruisberg where her teammate Anna van der Breggen launched an attack that inspired what looked like the race-winning move. The Olympic road champion had Niewiadoma, Longo Borghini and Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) for company. The quartet traded pulls and built up a significant advantage.

Annemiek Van Vleuten, Elisa Longo Borghini, Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Anna Van Der Breggen (Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

In their wake, a chase group formed that included Rivera and Van Dijk. Boels-Dolmans and Canyon SRAM each had three riders in the second group. Cervelo-Bigla had two.

With Canyon SRAM and Sunweb assuming the lion's share of the chase work and the gap holding fairly steady, it initially looked like the winner would come from the four out front – until Van der Breggen, on orders from the team car, stopped working. Lacking teammates in the group behind, Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma fully committed to the escape. Van Vleuten also continued to trade turns.

The psychological blow of Van der Breggen's lack of cooperation along with one less set of legs to share the workload spelled the end of the escape. With Van Dijk on the front, the chase group swallowed up the escape under the flamme rouge.

"From the moment that [sport director] Hans [Timmermans] made the call to go full gas for me, Ellen took charge of the pace," said Rivera. "Ellen chased it down crazy hard, and we also had some help from Canyon. We were committed to the plan of sprinting."

That commitment was well-rewarded as Rivera took the win.

"The sprint was absolutely thrilling," she said. "I still feel like I am dreaming."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women4:02:38 
2Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica Scott Women  
3Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
4Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott Women  
5Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
6Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon SRAM Racing  
7Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Vaiano  
8Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Pro Cycling  
9Janneke Ensing (Ned) Alé Cipollini  
10Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5  
11Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota  
12Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
13Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra) Canyon SRAM Racing  
14Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
15Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
16Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
17Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:00:05 
18Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:00:14 
19Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon SRAM Racing0:00:24 
20Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling0:03:50 
21Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
22Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana  
23Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Wiggle High5  
24Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team  
25Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope0:03:52 
26Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica Scott Women0:03:55 
27Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:03:57 
28Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) BePink Cogeas0:05:27 
29Lisa Klein (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:05:32 
30Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling Team  
31Camilla Pedersen (Den) Team Veloconcept Women  
32Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Ita) BTC City Ljubljana  
33Elise Delzenne (Fra) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
34Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
35Yara Kastelijn (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling  
36Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
37Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
38Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
39Anouska Koster (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling  
40Sara Penton (Swe) Team Veloconcept Women  
41Daniela Reis (Por) Lares-Waowdeals  
42Thalita De Jong (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals  
43Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Cylance Pro Cycling  
44Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Drops Cycling Team  
45Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Drops Cycling Team  
46Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products  
47Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon SRAM Racing  
48Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Guill D'or  
49Roxane Knetemann (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope  
50Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
51Eider Merino Kortazar (Spa) Lointek  
52Dani King (GBr) Cylance Pro Cycling  
53Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) Lensworld-Kuota  
54Lara Vieceli (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
55Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling  
56Sara Mustonen Lichan (Swe) Team Veloconcept Women  
57Marie Vilmann (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
58Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Wiggle High5  
59Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing  
60Lauren Kitchen (Aus) WM3 Pro Cycling  
61Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle High5  
62Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing  
63Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High5  
64Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota  
65Flavia Oliveira (Bra) Lares-Waowdeals  
66Stephanie Pohl (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
67Ganna Solovei (Ukr) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team0:07:25 
68Jessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
69Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women  
70Anna Potokina (Rus) Servetto Giusta  
71Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé Cipollini  
72Christina Siggaard (Den) Team Veloconcept Women  
73Eva Buurman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team  
74Urša Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
75Mónika Király (Hun) S.C. Michela Fanini  
76Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) BePink Cogeas  
77Asja Paladin (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
78Joelle Numainville (Can) Cylance Pro Cycling  
79Valerie Demey (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Guill D'or0:09:02 
80Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica Scott Women  
81Alba Teruel Ribes (Spa) Lointek  
82Laura Camila Lozano Ramirez (Col) Servetto Giusta  
83Kaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
84Georgia Williams (NZl) Orica Scott Women  
85Nathalie Verschelden (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota  
86Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope  
87Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle High5  
88Aude Biannic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope  
89Rozanne Slik (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
90Lija Laizane (Lat) Aromitalia Vaiano  
91Jessica Allen (Aus) Orica Scott Women  
92Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling  
93Pernille Mathiesen (Den) Team Veloconcept Women  
94Romy Kasper (Ger) Alé Cipollini  
95Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota  
96Soraya Paladin (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
97Simona Frapporti (Ita) Hitec Products  
DNFLotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
DNFDaiva Tuslaite (Ltu) Alé Cipollini  
DNFMarta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFClaudia Koster (Ned) Team Veloconcept Women  
DNFAlison Jackson (Can) BePink Cogeas  
DNFKatia Ragusa (Ita) BePink Cogeas  
DNFSilvia Valsecchi (Ita) BePink Cogeas  
DNFMaria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) BePink Cogeas  
DNFEmilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products  
DNFSusanne Andersen (Nor) Hitec Products  
DNFNina Kessler (Ned) Hitec Products  
DNFThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products  
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) Lares-Waowdeals  
DNFSarah Inghelbrecht (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals  
DNFSaartje Vandenbroucke (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals  
DNFKim De Baat (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota  
DNFEugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFCharlotte Bravard (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFJelena Eric (Srb) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFMia Radotic (Cro) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFAnnelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFChantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFSofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
DNFArianna Fidanza (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
DNFNatalya Saifutdinova (Kaz) Astana Women's Team  
DNFAgnieszka Skalniak (Pol) Astana Women's Team  
DNFKseniia Dobrynina (Rus) Servetto Giusta  
DNFLetizia Borghesi (Ita) Servetto Giusta  
DNFTing Ying Huang (Tpe) Servetto Giusta  
DNFFrancesca Balducci (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini  
DNFAnna Ceoloni (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini  
DNFIraida Garcia Ocasio (Cub) S.C. Michela Fanini  
DNFValeriya Kononenko (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini  
DNFJutatip Maneephan (Tha) S.C. Michela Fanini  
DNFAnnabel Simpson (GBr) Drops Cycling Team  
DNFLaura Massey (GBr) Drops Cycling Team  
DNFElizabeth Holden (GBr) Drops Cycling Team  
DNFDemi De Jong (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team  
DNFNatalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team  
DNFChanella Stougje (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team  
DNFEsra Tromp (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team  
DNFHeidi Dalton (RSA) Aromitalia Vaiano   
DNFElena Franchi (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFAlessia Bulleri (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFLisa De Ranieri (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFBeatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFAna Maria Covrig (Rom) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFSara Mariotto (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFMichela Pavin (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFBeatrice Rossato (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFKelly Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Guill D'or  
DNFDemmy Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Guill D'or  
DNFJessy Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Guill D'or  
DNFCeline Van Severen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Guill D'or  
DNFOmer Shapira (Isr) Giusfredi Bianchi  
DNFDaniela-Georgina Dumitru (Rom) Giusfredi Bianchi  
DNFMichela Balducci (Ita) Giusfredi Bianchi  
DNFSimona Bortolotti (Ita) Giusfredi Bianchi  
DNFVania Canvelli (Ita) Giusfredi Bianchi  
DNFChiara Perini (Ita) Giusfredi Bianchi  
DNFBeatriu Gomez Franquet (Spa) Lointek  
DNFEmpar Felix Tur (Spa) Lointek  
DNFAlicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek  
DNFMiho Yoshikawa (Jpn) Bizkaia-Durango  
DNFLourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango  
DNFŠpela Kern (Slo) Bizkaia-Durango  
DNFFemke Verstichelen (Bel) Bizkaia-Durango  
DNFNahia Leonet (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango  


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