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