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Lotta Lepisto wins Gent-Wevelgem

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A tangle at the rear of the peloton

A tangle at the rear of the peloton (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Chantal Blaak (Boles Dolmans)

Chantal Blaak (Boles Dolmans) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) remains the WorldTour leader

Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) remains the WorldTour leader (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Janneke Ensing (Alé Cipollini) made a late flyer

Janneke Ensing (Alé Cipollini) made a late flyer (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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 (Boles Dolmans) leading a late move

(Boles Dolmans) leading a late move (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The final sprint at Gent-Wevelgem

The final sprint at Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans)

Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Floortjej Mackaij (Team Sunweb)

Floortjej Mackaij (Team Sunweb) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Marie Vilmann (Cervelo Bigla)

Marie Vilmann (Cervelo Bigla) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) puts the hammer down

Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) puts the hammer down (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Annelies Dom (Lotto Soudal Ladies)

Annelies Dom (Lotto Soudal Ladies) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans)

Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Team Sunweb control the front of the peloton

Team Sunweb control the front of the peloton (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Audrey Cordon and Kat Garfoot try to sneak away with Floortjej Mackaij

Audrey Cordon and Kat Garfoot try to sneak away with Floortjej Mackaij (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Trixi Worrack (Canyon SRAM Racing) finished in 100th place

Trixi Worrack (Canyon SRAM Racing) finished in 100th place (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Olympic and European champion Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans)

Olympic and European champion Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM)

Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Jessie Daams (otto Soudal Ladies)

Jessie Daams (otto Soudal Ladies) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Anna Potokina (Servetto Giusta) picks her self up from a crash

Anna Potokina (Servetto Giusta) picks her self up from a crash (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans)

Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Jess Allen (Orica-Scott)

Jess Allen (Orica-Scott) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans)

Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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World champion Amalie Dideriksen (Boles Dolmans)

World champion Amalie Dideriksen (Boles Dolmans) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans)

Anna van der Breggen (Boles Dolmans) (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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A beautiful day for Gent-Wevelgem

A beautiful day for Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Champagne time on the podium

Champagne time on the podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle High5) and Women's WorldTour leader Elisa Longo Borghini debrief

Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle High5) and Women's WorldTour leader Elisa Longo Borghini debrief (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Audrey Cordon (Wiggle High5) and Annemiek Van Vleuten (Orica-Scott)

Audrey Cordon (Wiggle High5) and Annemiek Van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle High5)

Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle High5) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sarah Roy (Orica-Scott) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla)

Sarah Roy (Orica-Scott) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Italian champion Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM)

Italian champion Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The 2017 Gent-Wevelgem podium: Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle High5), Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) and Coryn Rivera (Sunweb)

The 2017 Gent-Wevelgem podium: Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle High5), Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) and Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Gent-Wevelgem winner Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla)

Gent-Wevelgem winner Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kat Garfoot (Orica-Scott) pushing the pace

Kat Garfoot (Orica-Scott) pushing the pace (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Celebration time for the top three on the podium

Celebration time for the top three on the podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lisa Brennauer at Gent-Wevelgem

Lisa Brennauer at Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lisa Brennauer and Trixi Worrack injecting the pace at Gent-Wevelgem

Lisa Brennauer and Trixi Worrack injecting the pace at Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Hannah Barnes and Jessia Allen at Gent-Wevelgem

Hannah Barnes and Jessia Allen at Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Hannah Barnes at Gent-Wevelgem

Hannah Barnes at Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A hard tempo on the front at Gent-Wevelgem

A hard tempo on the front at Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jessica Allen at Gent-Wevelgem

Jessica Allen at Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The women's peloton traverses the fields of Flanders at Gent-Wevelgem

The women's peloton traverses the fields of Flanders at Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The final sprint at Gent-Wevelgem

The final sprint at Gent-Wevelgem (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) sprinted to victory in Wevelgem on Sunday to win the fourth round of the UCI Women's WorldTour. The Finnish champion bested Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle High5) and Trofeo Binda winner Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) for the top step of the Gent-Wevelgem podium.

"This race was my goal," said Lepistö. "I was focused on winning it. It's a race that suits me and last year I was close but made a mistake. I told myself that won't happen again, so today I made sure I was in the front. Flanders is Flanders, and anything can happen but this was my goal. We agreed to target today and I got it. I am really satisfied."

The one-day Belgian classic, running over many of the same roads used by the men's race, ended in a bunch kick of more than 40 riders. The group formed over the hilly middle section of the 146km day. Despite relentless attacks during the final 40 kilometres, the reduced peloton remained tightly grouped.

The race, now in its fourth running, had never ended in more than a three-rider move prior to Sunday.

"We had five girls in the front group," noted Lepistö. "They did an amazing job. Stephie [Pohl] did the lead outs to the Kemmelberg, Marie [Vilmann] our climber here in Flanders, attacked after the climbs to put pressure on the group, Cecilie [Uttrup Ludwig] waited for me in the climbs and brought me to the front because I wanted to ride them at my own pace. She covered a million attacks.

"Lisa [Klein] is my tandem, she is always with me," Lepistö continued. "Ashleigh [Moolman Paiso] coming back from injury and being in all the attacks and keeping me calm. She always has the right things to say, telling me to relax, it's not my turn to go into a group. [Team manager] Thomas [Campana] in the car had a really good tactic and believed in us. This is another team victory."

While Lepistö won Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, her victory on Sunday is a historic win for her Swiss-registered squad. The rejuvenated Cérvelo-Bigla team, launched three years ago under the direction of Campana, had never won a World Cup or Women's WorldTour race – until today.

"The success is overwhelming for me and the staff," said Campana. "We're very happy that the riders we've developed over the years are winning and our talent scouting is working. For us it's important to develop step by step. The talent we signed three years ago is starting to win big now, in front of some big riders."

How it unfolded

The fourth edition of Gent-Wevelgem started under sunny skies in Ieper. The peloton was relatively inactive during the four opening laps, and an intact bunch headed for the hills that were grouped together mid-race.

The first ascent of the Kemmelberg split the peloton slightly. The descent toward the Monteberg did further damage. Up and over the second climb of the day, three distinct groups had formed with 20 seconds separating the first two.

The splits were small enough for a re-grouping to occur before the Baneberg, the day's third climb. Around 50 riders hit the bottom of the second trip up the Kemmelberg together.

Although a few riders were unable to maintain contact over the Kemmelberg-Monteberg combination, the group largely stayed together. With the hills finished, the reduced bunch had only flat roads and some wind to contend with en route to Wevelgem.

Marie Villman, Lepistö's teammate, launched an attack with 25 kilometres remaining. She gained a maximum of 10 seconds before the peloton brought her back. Next, a group of six tried to slip away. They too were neutralised by the peloton.

Former winner Floortjej Mackaij (Team Sunweb) then escaped with Alice Barnes (Drops). Olympic road champion Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) and Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5) were the next to go up the road. Neither pairing could gain more than 400 metres.

Fifteen kilometres from the finish, Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) initiated a move that included UCI Women's WorldTour leader Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5), Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) and Katrin Garfoot (Orica-Scott). The quartet succeeded in gaining 10-seconds over the bunch.

When Arlenis Sierra (Astana) and Marta Bastianelli (Alé Cipollini) bridged across, Majerus was told to stop working. As the Luxembourgish champion skipped pulls, the others did, too, quickly spelling the end of the move.

Janneke Ensing (Alé Cipollini) jumped four kilometres from the finish. Olga Zabelinskaya (BePink Cogeas) marked the move. The pair were caught with two kilometres still to race, and the reduced bunch readied for the sprint. Lepistö bided her time to come away with the win.

"The finish was hectic. There was headwind, and I was waiting, waiting, waiting," said Lepistö. "In the final 100 metres, I was just pushing as hard as I could. It hurt my lungs, my legs, everywhere."

The Women's WorldTour continues next weekend with the Tour of Flanders.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team3:53:54
2Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Wiggle High5
3Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women
4Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé Cipollini
5Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing
6Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota
7Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling Team
8Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
9Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon SRAM Racing
10Sheyla Gutiérrez (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling
11Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica Scott Women
12Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota
13Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) BePink Cogeas
14Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott Women
15Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon SRAM Racing
16Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
17Anouska Koster (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling
18Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team
19Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Pro Cycling
20Janneke Ensing (Ned) Alé Cipollini
21Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
22Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
23Lisa Klein (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
24Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana
25Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica Scott Women
26Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
27Alison Jackson (Can) BePink Cogeas
28Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana0:00:04
29Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women
30Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana
31Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Cervélo­Bigla Pro Cycling
32Roxane Knetemann (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
33Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women
34Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High5
35Audrey Cordon (Fra) Wiggle High50:00:06
36Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Ita) BTC City Ljubljana
37Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:00:12
38Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
39Marie Vilmann (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
40Romy Kasper (Ger) Alé Cipollini
41Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Cylance Pro Cycling
42Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5
43Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:00:27
44Daniela Gass (Ger) Servetto Giusta0:07:08
45Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products
46Celine Van Severen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
47Roos Hoogeboom (Ned) Bizkaia­Durango
48Kaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
49Annelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
50Sara Mustonen­Lichan (Swe) Team Veloconcept Women
51Sara Penton (Swe) Team Veloconcept Women
52Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling
53Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Astana Women's Team
54Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota
55Lourdes Oyarbide (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
56Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Drops Cycling Team
57Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
58Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team
59Daniela Reis (Por) Lares-Waowdeals
60Eva Buurman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team
61Demi De Jong (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team
62Natalya Saifutdinova (Kaz) Astana Women's Team
63Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
64Nathalie Verschelden (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota
65Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women
66Irena Ossola (USA) SAS - MACOGEP
67Julie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5
68Laura Camila Lozano (Col) Servetto Giusta
69Spela Kern (Slo) Bizkaia-Durango
70Sarah Inghelbrecht (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals
71Julia Soek (Ned) Team Sunweb Women
72Katia Ragusa (Ita) BePink Cogeas
73Nina Buysman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg ­ Destil Cycling Team
74Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle High5
75Abby­Mae Parkinson (GBr) Drops Cycling Team
76Willeke Knol (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling
77Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
78Makhabbat Umutzhanova (Kaz) Astana Women's Team
79Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
80Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
81Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
82Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota
83Lorena Llamas (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
84Esra Tromp (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team
85Simona Frapporti (Ita) Hitec Products
86Sarah Rijkes (Aut) Lares-Waowdeals
87Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) BePink Cogeas
88Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé Cipollini
89Anna Potokina (Rus) Servetto Giusta
90Asja Paladin (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
91Thalita De Jong (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals
92Lisa Morzenti (Ita) Astana Women's Team
93Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
94Jessica Allen (Aus) Orica Scott Women
95Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling
96Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica Scott Women
97Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica Scott Women
98Coralie Demay (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
99Stephanie Pohl (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
100Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing
101Aude Biannic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
102Joëlle Numainville (Can) Cylance Pro Cycling0:07:16
DNFMarjolaine Bazin (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP
DNFBeatrice Rossato (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFMichela Pavin (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFAna Maria Covrig (Rom) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFElena Leonardi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFBeatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFJelena Eric (Srb) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFUrša Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFAnisha Vekemans (Bel) Alé Cipollini
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Alé Cipollini
DNFMilagro Mena (CRc) SAS ­ Macogep
DNFSoline Lamboley (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP
DNFLara Vieceli (Ita) Astana Women's Team
DNFSilvia Valsecchi (Ita) BePink Cogeas
DNFMaria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) BePink Cogeas
DNFAnnabel Simpson (GBr) Drops Cycling Team
DNFRebecca Durrell (GBr) Drops Cycling Team
DNFAnn­Sophie Duyck (Bel) Drops Cycling Team
DNFYessica Pérez (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
DNFPaola Munoz (Chi) Bizkaia-Durango
DNFIris Sachet (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP
DNFEmilie Rochedy (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP
DNFKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team
DNFThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products
DNFElise Delzenne (Fra) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFValerie Demey (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
DNFJessy Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
DNFFien Delbaere (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
DNFKelly Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
DNFMaaike Polspoel (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota
DNFAmelie Rivat (Fra) Lares-Waowdeals
DNFKelly Markus (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals
DNFLauren Kitchen (Aus) WM3 Pro Cycling
DNFValentina Scandolara (Ita) WM3 Pro Cycling
DNFJessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFTrine Schmidt (Den) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFNina Kessler (Ned) Hitec Products
DNFCharlotte Becker (Ger) Hitec Products
DNFSusanne Andersen (Nor) Hitec Products
DNFTing Ying Huang (Tpe) Servetto Giusta
DNFKseniia Dobrynina (Rus) Servetto Giusta
DNFBarbara Guarischi (Ita) Canyon SRAM Racing
DNFAlena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon SRAM Racing
DNFClaudia Koster (Ned) Team Veloconcept Women
DNFChristina Siggaard (Den) Team Veloconcept Women
DNFPernille Mathiesen (Den) Team Veloconcept Women
DNSCamilla Møllebro (Den) Team Veloconcept Women

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