Kim De Baat (Plantur Pura) secured a surprise sprint victory to win the women's road race title at the Belgian championships in Middelkerke.
De Baat went up against a small group that had split off the front of the main field in the closing kilometres to win the sprint ahead of Fien Van Eynde (IBCT) in second and Sara Maes (Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team) in third.
Pre-race favourite Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) finished in the main field in 51st place.
An early breakaway emerged in the women's 120km race that included Cato Cassiers, Marion Norbert-Riberolle (Plantur Pura), Britt Knaven (AG Insurance-NXTG Team) and Sara van de Vel (IBCT).
Nathalie Bex (Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport) and De Baat briefly joined the breakaway but the move was short lived and the peloton back together toward the end of the race.
Kopecky attempted to launch her own attack, followed by Sanne Cant (Plantur Pura) but they were not successful in opening a gap.
The move that ended up splitting off the front involved De Baat, Maes, Van Eynde along with Fauve Bastiaenssen, Lone Meertens (AG Insurance-NXTG Team), Julie Hendrickx (Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport), and Alana Castrique (Cofidis Women Team), who bridged the small gap inside the last kilometre.
Castrique was the first of the group to start the sprint but it was De Baat who proved fastest crossing the line to win her first elite women's road race title.
Results powered by FirstCycling
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
Latest on Cyclingnews
Elia Viviani's extraordinary road-track double at European ChampionshipsItalian wins elimination race just five hours after top-10 in 207km road race
Primoz Roglic will ride Vuelta a EspañaJumbo-Visma leader gets the green light to target fourth title after Tour de France injuries
Carapaz leads youthful Ineos Grenadiers line-up for Vuelta a EspañaHayter and Plapp among four debutants as Sivakov and Geoghegan Hart support GC bid
BikeExchange-Jayco sign Elmar Reinders in mid-season transferDutchman leaves Riwal to join forces with Dylan Groenewegen