Lotta Lepisto wins Gent-Wevelgem

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

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team3:53:54
2Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Wiggle High5Row 1 - Cell 2
3Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb WomenRow 2 - Cell 2
4Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 3 - Cell 2
5Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM RacingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-KuotaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon SRAM RacingRow 8 - Cell 2
10Sheyla Gutiérrez (Spa) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 9 - Cell 2
11Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica Scott WomenRow 10 - Cell 2
12Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Lensworld-KuotaRow 11 - Cell 2
13Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) BePink CogeasRow 12 - Cell 2
14Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott WomenRow 13 - Cell 2
15Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon SRAM RacingRow 14 - Cell 2
16Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 15 - Cell 2
17Anouska Koster (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 16 - Cell 2
18Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 18 - Cell 2
20Janneke Ensing (Ned) Alé CipolliniRow 19 - Cell 2
21Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 21 - Cell 2
23Lisa Klein (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City LjubljanaRow 23 - Cell 2
25Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica Scott WomenRow 24 - Cell 2
26Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Alison Jackson (Can) BePink CogeasRow 26 - Cell 2
28Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana0:00:04
29Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 28 - Cell 2
30Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City LjubljanaRow 29 - Cell 2
31Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Cervélo­Bigla Pro CyclingRow 30 - Cell 2
32Roxane Knetemann (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 31 - Cell 2
33Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 32 - Cell 2
34Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High5Row 33 - Cell 2
35Audrey Cordon (Fra) Wiggle High50:00:06
36Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Ita) BTC City LjubljanaRow 35 - Cell 2
37Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:00:12
38Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Marie Vilmann (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Romy Kasper (Ger) Alé CipolliniRow 39 - Cell 2
41Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 40 - Cell 2
42Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5Row 41 - Cell 2
43Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:00:27
44Daniela Gass (Ger) Servetto Giusta0:07:08
45Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 44 - Cell 2
46Celine Van Severen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 45 - Cell 2
47Roos Hoogeboom (Ned) Bizkaia­DurangoRow 46 - Cell 2
48Kaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 47 - Cell 2
49Annelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 48 - Cell 2
50Sara Mustonen­Lichan (Swe) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 49 - Cell 2
51Sara Penton (Swe) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 50 - Cell 2
52Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 51 - Cell 2
53Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Astana Women's TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-KuotaRow 53 - Cell 2
55Lourdes Oyarbide (Spa) Bizkaia-DurangoRow 54 - Cell 2
56Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Drops Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 56 - Cell 2
58Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Daniela Reis (Por) Lares-WaowdealsRow 58 - Cell 2
60Eva Buurman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Demi De Jong (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Natalya Saifutdinova (Kaz) Astana Women's TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 62 - Cell 2
64Nathalie Verschelden (Bel) Lensworld-KuotaRow 63 - Cell 2
65Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb WomenRow 64 - Cell 2
66Irena Ossola (USA) SAS - MACOGEPRow 65 - Cell 2
67Julie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5Row 66 - Cell 2
68Laura Camila Lozano (Col) Servetto GiustaRow 67 - Cell 2
69Spela Kern (Slo) Bizkaia-DurangoRow 68 - Cell 2
70Sarah Inghelbrecht (Bel) Lares-WaowdealsRow 69 - Cell 2
71Julia Soek (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 70 - Cell 2
72Katia Ragusa (Ita) BePink CogeasRow 71 - Cell 2
73Nina Buysman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg ­ Destil Cycling TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle High5Row 73 - Cell 2
75Abby­Mae Parkinson (GBr) Drops Cycling TeamRow 74 - Cell 2
76Willeke Knol (Ned) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 75 - Cell 2
77Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Makhabbat Umutzhanova (Kaz) Astana Women's TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 78 - Cell 2
80Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 79 - Cell 2
81Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 80 - Cell 2
82Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-KuotaRow 81 - Cell 2
83Lorena Llamas (Spa) Bizkaia-DurangoRow 82 - Cell 2
84Esra Tromp (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Simona Frapporti (Ita) Hitec ProductsRow 84 - Cell 2
86Sarah Rijkes (Aut) Lares-WaowdealsRow 85 - Cell 2
87Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) BePink CogeasRow 86 - Cell 2
88Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé CipolliniRow 87 - Cell 2
89Anna Potokina (Rus) Servetto GiustaRow 88 - Cell 2
90Asja Paladin (Ita) Top Girls Fassa BortoloRow 89 - Cell 2
91Thalita De Jong (Ned) Lares-WaowdealsRow 90 - Cell 2
92Lisa Morzenti (Ita) Astana Women's TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 92 - Cell 2
94Jessica Allen (Aus) Orica Scott WomenRow 93 - Cell 2
95Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 94 - Cell 2
96Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica Scott WomenRow 95 - Cell 2
97Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica Scott WomenRow 96 - Cell 2
98Coralie Demay (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 97 - Cell 2
99Stephanie Pohl (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon SRAM RacingRow 99 - Cell 2
101Aude Biannic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 100 - Cell 2
102Joëlle Numainville (Can) Cylance Pro Cycling0:07:16
DNFMarjolaine Bazin (Fra) SAS - MACOGEPRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFBeatrice Rossato (Ita) Top Girls Fassa BortoloRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFMichela Pavin (Ita) Top Girls Fassa BortoloRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFAna Maria Covrig (Rom) Top Girls Fassa BortoloRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFElena Leonardi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa BortoloRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFBeatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Top Girls Fassa BortoloRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFJelena Eric (Srb) BTC City LjubljanaRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFUrša Pintar (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFAnisha Vekemans (Bel) Alé CipolliniRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFMilagro Mena (CRc) SAS ­ MacogepRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFSoline Lamboley (Fra) SAS - MACOGEPRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFLara Vieceli (Ita) Astana Women's TeamRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFSilvia Valsecchi (Ita) BePink CogeasRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFMaria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) BePink CogeasRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFAnnabel Simpson (GBr) Drops Cycling TeamRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFRebecca Durrell (GBr) Drops Cycling TeamRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFAnn­Sophie Duyck (Bel) Drops Cycling TeamRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFYessica Pérez (Spa) Bizkaia-DurangoRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFPaola Munoz (Chi) Bizkaia-DurangoRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFIris Sachet (Fra) SAS - MACOGEPRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFEmilie Rochedy (Fra) SAS - MACOGEPRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFElise Delzenne (Fra) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFValerie Demey (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFJessy Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFFien Delbaere (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFKelly Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-EtixxRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFMaaike Polspoel (Bel) Lensworld-KuotaRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFAmelie Rivat (Fra) Lares-WaowdealsRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFKelly Markus (Ned) Lares-WaowdealsRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFLauren Kitchen (Aus) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFValentina Scandolara (Ita) WM3 Pro CyclingRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFJessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFTrine Schmidt (Den) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFNina Kessler (Ned) Hitec ProductsRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFCharlotte Becker (Ger) Hitec ProductsRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFSusanne Andersen (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFTing Ying Huang (Tpe) Servetto GiustaRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFKseniia Dobrynina (Rus) Servetto GiustaRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFBarbara Guarischi (Ita) Canyon SRAM RacingRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFAlena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon SRAM RacingRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFClaudia Koster (Ned) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFChristina Siggaard (Den) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFPernille Mathiesen (Den) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 147 - Cell 2
DNSCamilla Møllebro (Den) Team Veloconcept WomenRow 148 - Cell 2

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