Grace Brown wins Brabantse Pijl Dames 2020

Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott) stormed to the line to take victory in Brabantse Pijl Dames with a long-range attack on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old Australian, who left it too late in Liège-Bastogne-Liège before finishing second, made no mistake this time around, attacking with 17km remaining and winning solo. Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij mounted a late chase but the Sunweb pair were unable to eat into Brown's advantage and were forced to settle for second and third, respectively. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal Ladies) won the reduced bunch sprint for fourth.

“It is pretty exciting to cross the line first for my first time in Europe. I took confidence from Sunday into today’s race and I think that really helped me. I have made a bit of a jump in this last week which is really cool," Brown said.

“On that final lap I just saw an opportunity when girls where attacking and there was a bit of confusion and I just decided to attack and go for it."

After a number of early attacks, the race burst into life when Margarita Victoria Garcia Cañellas (Ale' BTC Ljubljana) and Katia Ragusa (Astana Women's Team) broke free with just under 50km remaining over the demanding course. The pair established a small lead as they approached the Hagaard climb with 42km to go but strong work from Sunweb and Trek ensured that they were caught with 39 remaining as Sunweb looked to break the peloton to pieces on the cobbled climbs that littered the route.

Sunweb once more accelerated on the next climb of the Holstheide but it was US national road champion Ruth Winder  (Trek-Segafredo) who put in the most powerful move, just as the climb peaked out. The American was unable to create a significant gap but her efforts reduced the bunch to less than 25 riders before Lauren Stephens (Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) put in a huge attack just after with 29km to go.

Stephens quickly established a lead of over 30 seconds, and she briefly had Mitchelton-Scott and Trek-Segafredo scrambling for allies as the lead continued to grow. Even when the peloton had Stephens in their sights she kept her lead at just a few seconds as she used her time trial skills to good effect on the few flatter sections of the race. However when the peloton finally had the American within touching distance Brown put in a significant attack that burnt off the rest of the field and quickly saw her latch onto Stephens.

The Tibco rider made a mistake coming to a tight right-hand corner just as Brown made contact, and subsequently lost all of her momentum as the road began to once more climb. Brown charged up the climb with 17km to go, leaving a struggling Stephens in her wake as she quickly established her winning lead. With 14km remaining, and Stephens back in the peloton, Brown had 23 seconds over the chasers but there was still enough firepower to mount a recovery with Sunweb well represented. 

"When I got across to Stephens it was on a cobbled section and she tried to ride the gutter and then was struggling to come across to me and completely lost momentum, so I decided to just go," Brown said.

On the Moskesstraatt the lead leveled out at 25 seconds with Lippert attacking and going clear. She was unable to cut down Brown's advantage however, and when Mackaij broke free of the next group on the road Lippert eased off and waited for her teammate. 

Despite the assistance, the Sunweb pair were unable to match Brown's pace with the Australian able to take the biggest European win of her career.

"Into the final, I heard that the Sunweb riders were trying to come across and I was getting time gaps and it was sort of the opposite of Sunday in Liège," Brown said.

"The time was coming down and I was pretty on the limit but once we hit the headwind it started to go out again, so I felt pretty confident then with just a few kilometres left to finish.”

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Grace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women 3:03:39
2Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb Women 0:00:47
3Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women 0:00:51
4Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:01:19
5Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
7Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
8Katia Ragusa (Ita) Astana Women's Team
9Margarita Victoria Garcia Cañellas (Spa) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
10Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
11Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
12Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-Sram Racing
13Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team
14Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport 0:01:24
15Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
16Anastasiia Chursina (Rus) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
17Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
18Kathrin Hammes (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT
19Aigul Gareeva (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro 0:01:27
20Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women 0:01:29
21Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
22Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-Sram Racing
23Lara Vieceli (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
24Nina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
25Diana Klimova (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
26Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:01:38
27Maëlle Grossetete (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:01:39
28Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano 0:01:54
29Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
30Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
31Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women
32Chloe Hosking (Aus) Rally Cycling Women 0:02:08
33Susanne Andersen (Nor) Team Sunweb Women 0:03:27
34Pfeiffer Georgi (GBr) Team Sunweb Women
35Franziska Koch (Ger) Team Sunweb Women 0:03:29
36Janneke Ensing (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women 0:03:33
37Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram Racing 0:03:35
38Eugenia Bujak (Slo) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:03:43
39Sara Van de Vel (Bel) Ciclotel
40Olga Shekel (Ukr) Astana Women's Team
41Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Chevalmeire
42Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
43Danique Braam (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies
44Christina Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
45Rossella Ratto (Ita) Chevalmeire
46Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
47Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies
48Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies
49Iuliia Galimullina (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
50Julia Borgström (Swe) NXTG Racing
51Valeriya Kononenko (Ukr) Ciclotel
52Laura Asencio (Fra) Ceratizit-WNT 0:03:56
53Jessica Pratt (Aus) Canyon-Sram Racing
54Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-Sram Racing
55Kelly Van den Steen (Bel) Chevalmeire
56Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
57Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
58Silvia Pollicini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
59Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
60Federica Piergiovanni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
61Romy Kasper (Ger) Parkhotel Valkenburg
62Roxane Fournier (Fra) Chevalmeire
63Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women
64Fien Delbaere (Bel) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladie 0:04:12
65Sharlotte Lucas (NZl) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:06:21
66Anna Plichta (Pol) Trek-Segafredo Women
67Marie Soleil Blais (Can) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
68Trixi Worrack (Ger) Trek-Segafredo Women
69Marit Raaijmakers (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
70Leigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Rally Cycling Women
71Alice Sharpe (Irl) Ciclotel
72Lily Williams (USA) Rally Cycling Women
73Céline Van Houtum (Ned) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladie 0:07:28
74Olha Kulynych (Ukr) Ciclotel
DNFClaire Faber (Lux) Illi-Bikes
DNFFemke Markus (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFLauren Kitchen (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFSamantha Hargreaves (Can) Illi-Bikes
DNFGracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFJessica Roberts (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFCharlotte Kool (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFCathalijne Hoolwerf (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFRozemarijn Ammerlaan (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFEmily Wadsworth (GBr) NXTG Racing
DNFMaud Rijnbeek (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFLeah Dixon (GBr) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFThalita De Jong (Ned) Chevalmeire
DNFChrista Riffel (Ger) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFAmber Van der Hulst (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFDitte Lenseclaes (Bel) Illi-Bikes
DNFSylvie Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFLien Lanssens (Bel) Illi-Bikes
DNFHeidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling Women
DNFSara Poidevin (Can) Rally Cycling Women
DNFLucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFEmma White (USA) Rally Cycling Women
DNFMaaike Boogaard (Ned) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
DNFVictorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNFLara Defour (Bel) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladie
DNFMieke Kröger (Ger) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFKim De Baat (Bel) Ciclotel
DNFIngrid Lorvik (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFGreta Richioud (Fra) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFLucy Van der Haar (GBr) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFNoemi Rüegg (Swi) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
DNFKirstie Van Haaften (Ned) Ciclotel
DNFAnnabel Fisher (GBr) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
DNFMartine Gjøs (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFHanna Johansson (Swe) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladie
DNFVictoire Berteau (Fra) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFMargaux Vigie (Fra) Valcar-Travel & Service
DNFZsófia Szabó (Hun) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFLone Meertens (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFMette Egtoft Jensen (Den) Illi-Bikes
DNFKylie Waterreus (Ned) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladie
DNFFrancesca Pattaro (Ita) Astana Women's Team
DNFJade Teolis (Fra) Astana Women's Team
DNFGiulia Marchesini (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
DNFKathrin Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFSofia Collinelli (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
DNFCarmela Cipriani (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
DNFAnastasia Carbonari (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
DNFAnna Badegruber (Aut) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladie
DNFFien van Eynde (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFMinke Bakker (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFShannon Malseed (Aus) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNSJeanne Korevaar (Ned) CCC-Liv
DNSMarta Jaskulska (Pol) CCC-Liv
DNSEvy Kuijpers (Ned) CCC-Liv
DNSPauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) CCC-Liv
DNSValerie Demey (Bel) CCC-Liv
DNSMarianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv

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