Lepistö wins Women's Dwars door Vlaanderen

Lotta Lepistö (Cervelo Bigla) claimed her first victory of the 2017 season in the inaugural women's Dwars door Vlaanderen. The Finnish rider out-sprinted Gracie Elvin (Orica-Scott) and Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-SRAM).

The much reduced peloton had to chase back a late attack from Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM), but managed to reel her in with 1km to go before setting up the sprint.

A lead group of 16 riders formed over the top of the dual ascents of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, and the Finnish champion was a late addition to the move.

"I just started passing riders and saw a gap to the front and put the big gear on and rode across," Lepistö said. "The group was smaller after the Paterberg then we rolled and rolled and then there were several attacks. Lisa [Klein] did an amazing job today. She is incredible. We were very tired, it was a hard race. I think everyone was racing all or nothing. In the end, there were 16 riders and Lisa said 'I will give everything to help you'. She took me to the front in the sprint and I won."

Lepistö announced her ambitions for the Spring Classics earlier in the year, and was pleased to get the early victory. "It's super nice. I was hoping for at least one win in the Spring Classics and now the monkey is off my back. Everybody is just trying to help each other all the time. The riders are just there for each other all the time and we don't hesitate to help each other."

How it happened

It was dry and windy as the women's peloton rolled out of Tielt for a 114 kilometre day through Flanders Field. While Dwars door Vlaanderen is known for its cobbles and climbs, the first half of the race is fast and flat.

"Because it was super windy today, there were a lot of echelons," Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) told CyclingNews. "It was quite nervous."

Natalie van Gogh (Parkhotel Valkenburg) launched the first attack of the race. Her attempt was immediately neutralised. Every attack that followed was likewise shut down. One hour into the race, no rider had successfully distanced herself from the field.

Emile Moberg (Hitec Products), Esther Van Veen (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Sara Penton (VéloCONCEPT) forced their way clear in the second hour of racing. The trio dutifully traded pulls to pocket a maximum advantage of 30-seconds. Their gap would tumble in the run-in the Oude Kwarement and disappear entirely up the infamous climb.

"That's where the first selection was made," noted Barnes. "I think there were around 27 of us. We went up, and it was full gas from there to the top of the Paterberg."

The front group largely stayed together over the Paterberg. It was the third of five climbs, the Vossenhol, that did damage.

"There was an attack on the third climb that split the group," said Barnes. "We were in the strongest position with four riders in front, which gave us an advantage."

15 kilometres from the finish, the leaders had nearly two minutes over the chasers. The winner would come from the 16 out front.

Annemiek van Vleuten (ORICA-SCOTT) initiated an attacking finale, jumping 10 kilometres from the line. Canyon-SRAM responded by going on the offensive.

"Tiff [Cromwell], Alena [Amialiusik] and I were attacking and counter-attacking," said Barnes. "Alena got brought back with about four kilometres, and I went over the top of her. I tried to stay out there as long as I could to take the pressure off my team."

Barnes was caught just beyond the two kilometre mark. The leaders amped up the pace for the impending sprint. Van Vleuten led out Elvin. Barnes led out Brennauer. But it was Lepistö who opened the sprint.

"I was tired but I gave it my all," said Lepistö in a team Twitter statement. "What an incredible job by Lisa to get me to the final." 

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team2:55:40
2Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica Scott WomenRow 1 - Cell 2
3Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM RacingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 3 - Cell 2
5Thalita De Jong (Ned) Lares-WaowdealsRow 4 - Cell 2
6Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 5 - Cell 2
7Romy Kasper (Ger) Alé CipolliniRow 6 - Cell 2
8Janneke Ensing (Ned) Alé CipolliniRow 7 - Cell 2
9Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 8 - Cell 2
10Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Drops Cycling TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 10 - Cell 2
12Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott Women0:00:09
13Lisa Klein (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon SRAM Racing0:00:10
15Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon SRAM Racing0:00:27
16Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon SRAM Racing0:00:33
17Nina Kessler (Ned) Hitec Products0:02:16
18Sheyla Gutierrez (Spa) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 17 - Cell 2
19Christina Siggaard (Den) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 18 - Cell 2
20Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle High5Row 19 - Cell 2
21Anouska Koster (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 20 - Cell 2
22Soraya Paladin (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 21 - Cell 2
23Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-KuotaRow 22 - Cell 2
24Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 23 - Cell 2
25Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica Scott WomenRow 24 - Cell 2
26Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City LjubljanaRow 25 - Cell 2
27Camilla Møllebro Pedersen (Den) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 26 - Cell 2
28Annasley Park (GBr) Great Britain National TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Celine Van Severen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 28 - Cell 2
30Melissa Lowther (GBr) Great Britain National TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Sara Mustonen Lichan (Swe) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 30 - Cell 2
32Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 31 - Cell 2
33Jessy Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 32 - Cell 2
34Yara Kastelijn (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 33 - Cell 2
35Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 34 - Cell 2
36Julia Soek (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 35 - Cell 2
37Claudia Koster (Ned) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 36 - Cell 2
38Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 37 - Cell 2
39Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City LjubljanaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 39 - Cell 2
41Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé CipolliniRow 40 - Cell 2
42Marie Vilmann (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Valerie Demey (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 42 - Cell 2
44Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle High5Row 43 - Cell 2
45Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 44 - Cell 2
46Georgia Williams (NZl) Orica Scott0:02:23
47Joelle Numainville (Can) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 46 - Cell 2
48Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle High50:02:48
49Kelly Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx0:03:05
50Elise Delzenne (Fra) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 49 - Cell 2
51Kaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 50 - Cell 2
52Mia Radotic (Cro) BTC City LjubljanaRow 51 - Cell 2
53Jong De Demi (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Saartje Vandenbroucke (Bel) Lares-WaowdealsRow 53 - Cell 2
55Nathalie Verschelden (Bel) Lensworld-KuotaRow 54 - Cell 2
56Jessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 55 - Cell 2
57Wubbigje Regina Knol (Ned) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 56 - Cell 2
58Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Drops Cycling TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Sarah Rijkes (Aut) Lares-WaowdealsRow 58 - Cell 2
60Sara Penton (Swe) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 59 - Cell 2
61Jelena Eric (Srb) BTC City LjubljanaRow 60 - Cell 2
62Annelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 61 - Cell 2
63Julie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5Row 62 - Cell 2
64Evy Kuijpers (Ned) Jan Van ArckelRow 63 - Cell 2
65Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb WomenRow 64 - Cell 2
66Rozanne Slik (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 65 - Cell 2
67Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Alé CipolliniRow 66 - Cell 2
68Jessica Allen (Aus) Orica Scott WomenRow 67 - Cell 2
69Stephanie Pohl (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
70Charlotte Becker (Ger) Hitec ProductsRow 69 - Cell 2
71Sarah Inghelbrecht (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals0:03:31
72Corinna Lechner (Ger) BTC City Ljubljana0:04:45
73Emmy Thelberg (Swe) Equano Cycling TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 73 - Cell 2
75Elise Maes (Lux) Team WNT Pro CyclingRow 74 - Cell 2
76Gabriella Shaw (GBr) Team WNT Pro Cycling0:04:55
77Rotem Gafinovitz (Isr) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 76 - Cell 2
78Riejanne Markus (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 77 - Cell 2
79Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) Lensworld-KuotaRow 78 - Cell 2
80Esra Tromp (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Estafania Pilz (Arg) Autoglas Wetteren Cycling TeamRow 80 - Cell 2
82Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Trine Schmidt (Den) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 82 - Cell 2
84Abigail Dentus (GBr) Great Britain National Team0:05:37
85Rebecca Durrell (GBr) Drops Cycling TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Marjolein Van 'T Geloof (Ned) Jan Van ArckelRow 85 - Cell 2
87Lucy Shaw (GBr) Drops Cycling TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Danique Braam (Ned) Jan Van ArckelRow 87 - Cell 2
89Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Laura Vainionpää (Fin) Isorex Cycling TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Megan Barker (GBr) Great Britain National TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Rixt Meijer (Ned) Jan Van ArckelRow 91 - Cell 2
93Ilona Hoeksma (Ned) Hitec ProductsRow 92 - Cell 2
94Irena Ossola (USA) SAS - MACOGEPRow 93 - Cell 2
95Rebecca Carter (GBr) Team WNT Pro CyclingRow 94 - Cell 2
96Clara Koppenburg (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Bryony Van Velzen (Ned) Lares-WaowdealsRow 96 - Cell 2
98Marjolaine Bazin (Fra) SAS - MACOGEPRow 97 - Cell 2
99Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Chane Jonker (RSA) Isorex Cycling TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
101Demmy Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 100 - Cell 2
102Lensy Debboudt (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Lucy Garner (GBr) Wiggle High5Row 102 - Cell 2
104Rebecca Raybould (GBr) Great Britain National TeamRow 103 - Cell 2
105Delore Stougje (Ned) Jan Van ArckelRow 104 - Cell 2
106Ine Allaert (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Claire Thomas (GBr) Isorex Cycling TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
108Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Lensworld-KuotaRow 107 - Cell 2
109Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Canyon SRAM RacingRow 108 - Cell 2
110Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 109 - Cell 2
111Sanne Bamelis (Bel) Wielerclub De Sprinters MalderenRow 110 - Cell 2
112Emmanuelle Brossard (Fra) Autoglas Wetteren Cycling TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Sylvie Boermans (Ned) Jan Van ArckelRow 112 - Cell 2
114Pia De Quint (Bel) Wielerclub De Sprinters Malderen0:09:34
115Kelly Kalm (Est) Isorex Cycling Team0:09:49
116Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products0:10:04
117Julie Solvang (Nor) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 116 - Cell 2
118Birgitte Ravndal (Nor) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 117 - Cell 2
119Susanne Andersen (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 118 - Cell 2
120Lara Defour (Bel) Autoglas Wetteren Cycling TeamRow 119 - Cell 2
121Rose Osborne (GBr) Drops Cycling TeamRow 120 - Cell 2
122Esther Van Veen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team0:11:08
123Natalie Kerwin (NZl) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 122 - Cell 2
124Naïka Deneef (Bel) Autoglas Wetteren Cycling Team0:12:15
125Elise Vander Sande (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
126Grace Garner (GBr) Wiggle High5Row 125 - Cell 2
127Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Wielerclub De Sprinters MalderenRow 126 - Cell 2
128Soline Lamboley (Fra) SAS - MACOGEPRow 127 - Cell 2
129Hazel Magill (RSA) Equano Cycling TeamRow 128 - Cell 2
130Steffy Van Den Haute (Bel) Autoglas Wetteren Cycling Team0:13:18
131Isabel Van De Voorde (Bel) Equano Cycling TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
132Abigail Van Twisk (GBr) Drops Cycling Team0:13:54
133Mie Bjørndal Ottestad (Nor) Wielerclub De Sprintermalderende0:14:00
DNFLien Verhaegen (Bel) Equano Cycling TeamdeRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFLeah Thorvilson (USA) Canyon Sram RacingdeRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFKim De Baat (Bel) Lensworld-KuotaRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFMilagro Mena Solano (CRc) SAS - MacogepdeRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFLana Petit (Bel) Isorex Cycling TeamdeRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFCarolien Haers (Bel) Autoglas Wetteren Cycling TeamdeRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFMalin Berlin (Swe) Wielerclub De Sprinters MalderendeRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFBrenda Goessens (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamdeRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFEmmy Andersson (Swe) Wielerclub De Sprinters MalderendeRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFNancy Wittock (Bel) Equano Cycling TeamdeRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFAndrea Terjesen (Nor) Isorex Cycling TeamdeRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFSarah Ten Hartog (Bel) Equano Cycling TeamdeRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFChanella Stougje (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFHannah Walker (GBr) Team WNT Pro CyclingRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFHayley Jones (GBr) Team WNT Pro CyclingRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFKeira McVitty (GBr) Team WNT Pro CyclingRow 148 - Cell 2

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