Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) moved into the lead of the Women's WorldTour after winning Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. The Boels Dolmans rider leads the ranking with 538 points. Two teammates follow her in the rankings, with Amy Pieters in second at 455 points and Anna van der Breggen in third with 408 points.
Amstel Gold Race marks Blaak's first win of the series this season, which Boels Dolmans has dominated so far. Pieters won Ronde van Drenthe and Van der Breggen won Strade Bianche and Tour of Flanders. As for the other rounds, Jolien D'hoore (Mitchelton-Scott) won Driedaagse de Panne, Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) won Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Marta Bastianelli (Ale Cipollini) won Gent-Wevelgem.
2018 Women's WorldTour standings after Amstel Gold Race - Brief Results
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||538||pts|
|2||Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||455|
|3||Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||408|
|4||Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Mitchelton Scott Women||405|
|5||Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing||395|
|6||Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale Cipollini||370|
|7||Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women||285|
|8||Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cipollini||280|
|9||Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team||273|
|10||Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM Racing||240|
Spratt sprints to podium at Amstel Gold Race
Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) sprinted to third place at Amstel Gold Race after animating what turned out to be the race-winning breakaway. Spratt was one of the eight riders who went clear of a splitting peloton mid-race, and then her attacks on the final climb up Cauberg helped create the three-rider lead group that sprinted for the win.
Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) won, with Lucinda Brand (Team-Sunweb) and Spratt third.
"It took a while for a move to go and there were three or four moves that I followed before one actually stuck, and the fifth one I just latched on to the back and that was the group of eight that stayed away," Spratt said in a team press release.
"We worked together pretty quickly, and I thought it was a good group with a lot of fast girls, but I was feeling good on the climbs and I decided to wait until the final time over the Cauberg to see if I could split it there.
"I had to go with Chantal and Lucinda, they are both very fast riders and it was in our interests to stay with them and try to get gap over the top, but the end I was cramping a bit up the Cauberg the last time and wanted to keep the pace high and also hoping that I had something left for the sprint."
Lepisto surprises with top 10
Lotta Lepistö surprised herself and her Cervelo Bigla team when she finished in the top 10 at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday. As a sprinter on a hilly course, the Finnish national champion was happy to achieve eighth place, according to a team press release.
"It was a hard day," Lepistö said. "It's Amstel Gold Race and a top 10 for me as a sprinter is pretty cool. I had solid legs so I think the form is coming slowly. I've been looking forward to some hard racing so today was good."
Lepistö was part of an eight-rider breakaway group that got a two-minute gap that was enough to see them maintain a lead to the finish over a peloton reduced to 40 riders. She fell off pace on the closing laps with sprinter Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance), but the pair managed to reconnect with the front riders at the base of the Cauberg for the last time. Although the breakaway fell apart on the climb, Lepistö finished eighth. World champion Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) won the three-up sprint for victory.
"I was in the front all day because this is a kind of race where positioning is really important," Lepistö said. "I noticed big teams were in the front when the move went, and I thought we needed someone there, so I jumped across. We were working pretty well together but the climbers went hard on the climbs to hurt the sprinters.
"I did some good pulls in the front but it wasn’t easy out there. Things are moving in the right direction for us and we look forward to the next few weeks," Lepistö concluded.
Cervélo Bigla will continue with the UCI Women’s WorldTour on Wednesday, April 18, in La Flèche Wallonne.
Ryan disappointed with fifth at Amstel Gold Race
Alexis Ryan finished fifth at the opening race of the Ardennes Classics, Amstel Gold Race. Ryan was one of the eight riders in the breakaway that cleared the field midway through the race and made it to the finish line. Boels Dolmans' Chantal Blaak took the victory.
"Once I made it into the breakaway, the team was happy with the move and the composition of the break. I was feeling good and feeling confident in the group. And with my teammates behind in the peloton I also had confidence that if we were caught that they would be able to do the job," said Ryan after the finish.
"The second to last lap Blaak attacked on the Cauberg and I was able to go with her but that really hurt me. I conserved as much as I could then in the final lap. On the last time up the Cauberg we didn’t take it too hard but over the top when the riders attacked I just couldn’t go with it. I was trying my best to try to chase back on but I couldn’t get there and I was completely empty at the end," added a disappointed Ryan.
"We will keep our plan to be racing aggressive and we’re looking forward to Fleche Wallonne."
Canyon-SRAM look ahead to La Fléche Wallonne in Huy, Belgium on Wednesday, April 18. The roster includes Alena Amialiusik, Elena Cecchini, Lisa Klein, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Kasia Niewiadoma and Ryan.