Ruth Winder wins Brabantse Pijl Dames after Demi Vollering celebrates too soon

Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) was awarded the victory at the mid-week Brabantse Pijl Dames after officials reviewed a photo-finish sprint against runner-up Demi Vollering (SD Worx). The two riders surged in the closing metres of the race over the top of the S-Bocht Overijse climb and crossed the finish line side-by-side in Overijse. Vollering celebrated after she thought she had won, however, moments later officials declared Winder the winner of the race. Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Travel & Service) finished third.

"I'm extremely surprised," Winder said. "I came to this race wanting to be my best, and in the end, it played out really well for me. I thought Demi had it. We were sprinting and I threw my bike at the line, but she really celebrated, so I thought 'congratulations', because she is an amazing bike rider and just for me to be second, I was excited with that. To win is … it feels really good."

A six-rider breakaway formed in the final 20km of the race that included Winder, Vollering, and Balsamo along with Joss Lowden (Drops), Juliette Labous (Team DSM), and Leah Thomas (Movistar).

Vollering led her rivals into the foot of the finale 1.3km climb S-Bocht Overijse at the end of the women's 127km race. She looked over her shoulder at her five rivals behind and then allowed Lowden to follow through under the flamme rouge. The Drops rider attacked but Vollering almost instantly closed the gap with Balsamo on her wheel in third position and Winder just behind.

Balsamo started her sprint first over the crest of the climb but as her speed began to fade, Vollering and Winder swung off her wheel, one on the left and the other on the right, in a head-to-head sprint, crossing the finished line side by side.

Vollering celebrated too early only to find out moments later that officials awarded the victory Winder after reviewing images of the photo-finish sprint.

"Sometimes sprints can be so close," Vollering said. "I felt good. It was a hard race and I knew that in the climb I would have something left, and I was happy that I was there, and the team did a good job to be alert. It was a nice race."

How it unfolded

Brabantse Pijl Dames marked the end of the Flanders Classics' one-day races. It was contested along a new 127.3km route between Lennik and Overijse. The race featured a total of 22 climbs, but the final two circuits included climbs over Hagaard (500m, 8 per cent), Hertstraat (300m, 8.4 per cent), Moskesstraat (800m, 6 per cent), Holtsheide (700m, 6 per cent) and S-Bocht Overijse (1,300 metres) at the finish.

A lead group of 12 riders formed over the Hagaard climb with 41km to go, following an attack by Sabrina Stultiens (Liv Racing) that also included, Leah Thomas and Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), Demi Vollering and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SD Worx), Lucinda Brand and Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo), Coryn Rivera (Team DSM), Arlenis Sierra (AR Monex), Georgia Williams (Team BikeExchange), Joss Lowden (Drops), and Eugenie Duval and Maëlle Grossetete (FDJ).

The move passed through the finish line, to see two local laps to go, but was shut down with 35km to go and regrouped ahead of the first time over the Moskesstraat climb. 

Elisa Balsamo (Valcar) and Leah Thomas (Movistar) surged over the summit of the Moskesstraat, and with 31km to go a new lead group formed that also included Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx), Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM), and Tayler Wiles (Trek-Segafredo).

The move didn't last and the race was all back together with 27km to go when another series of attacks saw the winning six-rider breakaway emerge with 23km to go. In that group were Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo), Demi Vollering (SD Worx), Joss Lowden (Drops), Elisa Balsamo (Valcar), Juliette Labous (Team DSM), and Leah Thomas (Movistar).

The six leaders quickly stretched their lead out to one minute with 12km to go, but with three climbs; Moskesstraat, Holtsheide, and S-Bocht Overijse, to go the race was still unpredictable. 

In the main field behind, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Liv Racing, and Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank, who did not have riders in the breakaway, pushed to try and close the gap. Once they realised that it was too late, several riders went on the attack over the final pitches in the closing kilometres, in their race for seventh place.

Inside the final three kilometres, the six riders raced toward the final climb S-Bocht Overijse, all working well together to keep the gap at a healthy 1:10 ahead of the peloton.

Vollering moved to the front at the base of the climb and the rest of the riders seemed content to let her set the speed, but the group broke apart when Lowden attacked with 1km to go. Vollering was quick to regain contact, as was Winder and Balsamo.

The Italian launched her sprint over the top but was outsprinted by the faster Winder and Vollering at the finish line.

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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo 3:20:00
2Demi Vollering (Ned) Team SD Worx
3Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
4Leah Thomas (USA) Movistar Team Women
5Joscelin Lowden (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
6Juliette Labous (Fra) Team DSM 0:00:06
7Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Team SD Worx 0:00:57
8Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
9Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Liv Racing
11Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Segafredo
12Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
13Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Liv Racing
14Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
15Arlenis Sierra Canadilla (Cub) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
16Thalita De Jong (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
17Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
18Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Movistar Team Women
19Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) Team BikeExchange
20Amalie Lutro (Nor) Team Coop Hitec Products
21Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
22Lone Meertens (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
23Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing
24Eider Merino Cortazar (Spa) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
25Niamh Fisher-Black (NZl) Team SD Worx
26Amelia Sharpe (GBr) NXTG Racing
27Anna Shackley (GBr) Team SD Worx
28Georgia Williams (NZl) Team BikeExchange
29Vita Heine (Nor) Massi Tactic Women Team
30Georgia Williams (NZl) Team BikeExchange
31Mischa Bredewold (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
32Sarah Gigante (Aus) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
33Marta Jaskulska (Pol) Liv Racing
34Lizbeth Yareli Salazar Vazquez (Mex) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
35Janneke Ensing (Ned) Team BikeExchange
36Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar Team Women
37Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
38Coryn Rivera (USA) Team DSM
39Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
40Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) Team SD Worx
41Neve Bradbury (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing
42Sara Van De Vel (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
43Spela Kern (Slo) Massi Tactic Women Team 0:01:05
44Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Team BikeExchange
45Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
46Esmée Peperkamp (Ned) Team DSM 0:01:09
47Catalina Anais Soto Campos (Chi) NXTG Racing 0:01:11
48Jelena Eric (Srb) Movistar Team Women
49Sara Penton (Swe) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur 0:01:18
50Marie Le Net (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
51Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:01:23
52Ilse Pluimers (Ned) NXTG Racing 0:02:21
53Olha Kulynych (Ukr) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
54Ella Harris (NZl) Canyon-SRAM Racing
55Alice Sharpe (Irl) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
56Amber van der Hulst (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
57Femke Markus (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
58Inga Cesuliene (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
59Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team DSM
60Bryony van Velzen (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
61Femke Gerritse (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
62Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
63Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) Team BikeExchange
64Fien Van Eynde (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
65Evita Muzic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
66Mikayla Harvey (NZl) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:03:08
67Julia Borgström (Swe) NXTG Racing 0:03:40
68Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:05:24
69Silvia Pollicini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
70Maëlle Grossetete (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:07:49
71Julie De Wilde (Bel) Plantur-Pura 0:11:11
72Maaike Coljé (Ned) Massi Tactic Women Team
73Maria Van 'T Geloof (Ned) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
74Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
75Elise Vander Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
76Kylie Waterreus (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
77Nathalie Bex (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
78Lieke Nooijen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
79Rosalie van der Wolf (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
80Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
81Fien Delbaere (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
82Svenja Betz (Ger) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
83Justine Ghekiere (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
84Céline van Houtum (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
85Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing
86Emily Newsom (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
87Victorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
88Urska Zigart (Slo) Team BikeExchange
89Anna Christian (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
90Caroline Andersson (Swe) Team Coop Hitec Products
91Nicole Steigenga (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
92Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
93Silvia Magri (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
94Marijke De Smedt (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
95Victoire Berteau (Fra) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
96Emilie Moberg (Nor) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
97Nina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
98Anna Plichta (Pol) Lotto Soudal Ladies
99Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
100Elynor Backstedt (GBr) Trek-Segafredo 0:11:20
101Julia Soek (Ned) Team DSM
102Wilma Olausson (Swe) Team DSM
103Demi De Jong (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
DNFNikola Noskova (Cze) Team SD Worx
DNFEvy Kuijpers (Ned) Liv Racing
DNFGloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team Women
DNFOmer Shapira (Isr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
DNFJade Teolis (Fra) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
DNFOlivija Baleisyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFGiulia Marchesini (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFValentina Scandolara (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFMinke Bakker (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFMaria Martins (Por) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
DNFEmma Boogaard (Ned) Team Coop Hitec Products
DNFIngvild Gåskjenn (Nor) Team Coop Hitec Products
DNFAnn Helen Olsen (Nor) Team Coop Hitec Products
DNFChrista Riffel (Ger) Team Coop Hitec Products
DNFMireia Benito Pellicer (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFAgua Marina Espinola Salinas (Par) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFMireia Trias Jordan (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFAnn-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
DNFCathalijne Hoolwerf (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFBritt Knaven (Bel) NXTG Racing
DNFBelle de Gast (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFAntonia Gröndahl (Fin) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
DNFMia Griffin (Irl) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
DNFTanja Erath (Ger) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFKatrijn De Clercq (Bel) Belgian Cycliing
DNFEllen Feytens (Bel) Belgian Cycling
DNFMarthe Truyen (Bel) Plantur-Pura
DNFGloria Van Mechelen (Bel) LVIV Cycling Team
DNSKelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
DNSHanna Nilsson (Swe) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNSSanne Cant (Bel) Plantur-Pura

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