Van der Breggen storms to Tour of Flanders victory

Pieters and van Vleuten complete podium

Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) won the 2018 Tour of Flanders with a 27-kilometre solo after attacking in between the Kruisberg and Oude Kwaremont climbs. From a chase group of nine, Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans) sprinted to second and becomes the new leader of the UCI Women's WorldTour. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) came in third.

Starting and finishing in Oudenaarde, the peloton faced 150.9km on two large loops through the Flemish countryside, with five flat cobblestone sections and 11 climbs, three of which were also cobbled. It was dry at the start, but rain began a few kilometres into the race.

Despite a number of attempts, no break ever stayed away for long in the first part of the race. Only Natalie van Gogh (Parkhotel Valkenburg) held a gap of almost a minute for some time before being caught again. There were several crashes on the wet and often narrow roads, and the attrition of the climbs and cobbles reduced the size of the peloton, too, as riders couldn't keep up anymore.

The Muur van Geraardsbergen, 59km from the finish, brought the first real selection of the race with a group of six riders - Jolien D'hoore (Mitchelton-Scott), Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans), Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb), Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), Lisa Brennauer (Wiggle High5), and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo Bigla) - in the lead at the top.

But as the six didn't push on, many riders could get back on, and soon there was a peloton of 30-40 riders again. The race settled down a bit as it passed the feed zone and riders took on fuel for the final. Boels Dolmans riders Amalie Dideriksen and Christine Majerus went to the front on the Kanarieberg, the fourth-to-last climb with 35km to go, and reduced the peloton to some 20 riders.

Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) attacked, followed by Dideriksen, but they never got far away and were caught in the streets of Ronse as the sun finally came out with 30km remaining. About 40 riders started the Kruisberg climb together, but the group shrunk to only 10 when Amy Pieters applied the pressure on the climb.

Van der Breggen took the opportunity to attack on the rolling roads after the Kruisberg. Van Dijk tried to jump on her wheel, but missed the moment, and the Olympic champion quickly opened up a gap. The chase group included three Boels Dolmans riders who had no interest in chasing their teammate, and the group was caught by a peloton just before the Oude Kwaremont.

At this point, Van der Breggen had increased her advantage to a whole minute. Moolman-Pasio attacked from the peloton on the cobbles of the Oude Kwaremont, splitting up the group. Van Vleuten went after Moolman-Pasio, but was covered by van der Breggen's teammate, world champion Chantal Blaak. A group of nine formed on the run-in to the Paterberg, the final climb of the day.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) split that group as only Moolman-Pasio, Pieters, and van Vleuten could follow the Pole's acceleration, though the other five were never far behind. Van der Breggen increased her advantage to 1:29 with five kilometres to go and could celebrate a stunning solo victory in Oudenaarde.

Behind Van der Breggen, the two chase groups merged on the final kilometre. Amy Pieters won the sprint for second place and also took the lead in the UCI Women's WorldTour classification, Annemiek van Vleuten finished in third place.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam4:08:46 
2Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:01:08 
3Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women  
4Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio ((RSA)) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
5Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
6Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Movistar Team Women  
7Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
8Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Wiggle High5  
9Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
10Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:01:11 
11Kirsten Wild (Ned) Wiggle High50:01:48 
12Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Mitchelton-Scott Women  
13Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
14Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
15Susanne Andersen (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
16Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport  
17Rozanne Slik (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
18Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
19Christina Malling Siggaard (Den) Team Virtu Cycling  
20Annelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
21Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team  
22Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women  
23Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops  
24Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Wiggle High5  
25Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
26Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
27Sofia Beggin (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
28Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
29Daniela Reis (Por) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport0:01:52 
30Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
31Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
32Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Ale Cipollini  
33Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
34Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women0:02:09 
35Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team  
36Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
37Lauren Kitchen (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
38Alicia Gonzalez (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
39Lara Vieceli (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
40Erica Magnaldi (Ita) BePink  
41Valerie Demey (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
42Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Trek-Drops  
43Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women  
44Anouska Koster (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team  
45Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:02:12 
46Riejanne Markus (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:05:14 
47Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women  
48Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team  
49Ganna Solovei (Ukr) Parkhotel Valkenburg0:05:41 
50Letizia Borghesi (Ita) BePink  
51Katia Ragusa (Ita) BePink  
52Chanella Stougje (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
53Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
54Claudia Koster (Ned) Team Virtu Cycling  
55Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
56Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
57Elizabeth Holden (GBr) Trek-Drops  
58Martina Alzini (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
59Ingrid Drexel (Mex) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
60Kelly Druyts (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport  
61Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Valcar PBM  
62Julie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5  
63Pascale Jeuland (Fra) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport  
64Jessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women  
65VILMANN Marie Vilmann (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
66Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Wiggle High5  
67Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling  
68Lotta Lepisto (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:05:45 
69Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
70Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
71Monique van de Ree (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:07:05 
72Nina Buijsman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg0:07:42 
73Eug_nie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:12:04 
74Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar PBM0:13:03 
DNFAlba Teruel (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFAnn-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
DNFAlison Jackson (Can) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFEmma Grant (GBr) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFEmma Cecilie Jorgensen (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team  
DNFBrodie Chapman (Aus) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFMoniek Tenniglo (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFGloria Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFJenelle Crooks (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women  
DNFTereza Medvedova (Svk) BePink  
DNFMaria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) BePink  
DNFLisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
DNFMarjolein van 'T Geloof (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFRachel Neylan (Aus) Movistar Team Women  
DNFPuck Moonen (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFLisa Morzenti (Ita) BePink  
DNFTetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport  
DNFNathalie Bex (Bel) Experza-Footlogix  
DNFSara Mustonen Lichan (Swe) Experza-Footlogix  
DNFMichela Balducci (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFRasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFJulia Soek (Ned) Team Sunweb Women  
DNFSeverine Eraud (Fra) Experza-Footlogix  
DNFShannon Malseed (Aus) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFThalita De Jong (Ned) Experza-Footlogix  
DNFLex Albrecht (Can) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFHannah Payton (GBr) Trek-Drops  
DNFTayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Drops  
DNFAbigail Van Twisk (GBr) Trek-Drops  
DNFSaartje Vandenbroucke (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport  
DNFGracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women  
DNFHeidi Dalton (RSA) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFLisa De Ranieri (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFSusanna Zorzi (Ita) Experza-Footlogix  
DNFAnastasiia Iakovenko (Rus) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFRoxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFShara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFSimona Frapporti (Ita) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
DNFLija Laizane (Lat) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFAngelica Brogi (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFEsther Van Veen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFEmilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle High5  
DNFMaaike Boogaard (Ned) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFHolly Breck ((USA)) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFCorinna Lechner (Ger) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFMia Radotic (Cro) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFTatiana Guderzo (Ita) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
DNFNina Kessler (Ned) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) Experza-Footlogix  
DNFNancy Van Der Burg (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg  
DNFHeidy Pradera Bernal (Cub) Astana Women's Team  
DNFChloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cipollini  
DNFLine Marie Gulliksen (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
DNFChantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFSilvia Persico (Ita) Valcar PBM  
DNFIlaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar PBM  
DNFMarta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar PBM  
DNFPaulien Rooijakkers (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team  
DNFJelena Eric (Srb) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFJanneke Ensing (Ned) Ale Cipollini  
DNFMarta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Ale Cipollini  
DNFMieke Kroger (Ger) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFSara Penton (Swe) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFGiorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFKatarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFSheyla Gutierrez (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFKelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFChiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar PBM  


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