Lotta Lepisto wins Gent-Wevelgem
Cervelo Bigla rider wins in Belgium
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.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team||3:53:54|
|2||Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Wiggle High5||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé Cipollini||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|7||Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling Team||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|8||Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|9||Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon SRAM Racing||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Sheyla Gutiérrez (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica Scott Women||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) BePink Cogeas||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott Women||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|15||Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon SRAM Racing||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Anouska Koster (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Pro Cycling||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Janneke Ensing (Ned) Alé Cipollini||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|22||Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|23||Lisa Klein (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|24||Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|25||Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica Scott Women||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|27||Alison Jackson (Can) BePink Cogeas||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana||0:00:04|
|29||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) CervéloBigla Pro Cycling||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Roxane Knetemann (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High5||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Audrey Cordon (Fra) Wiggle High5||0:00:06|
|36||Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Ita) BTC City Ljubljana||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women||0:00:12|
|38||Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Marie Vilmann (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Romy Kasper (Ger) Alé Cipollini||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Cylance Pro Cycling||Row 40 - Cell 2|
|42||Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||0:00:27|
|44||Daniela Gass (Ger) Servetto Giusta||0:07:08|
|45||Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||Celine Van Severen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|47||Roos Hoogeboom (Ned) BizkaiaDurango||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|48||Kaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies||Row 47 - Cell 2|
|49||Annelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies||Row 48 - Cell 2|
|50||Sara MustonenLichan (Swe) Team Veloconcept Women||Row 49 - Cell 2|
|51||Sara Penton (Swe) Team Veloconcept Women||Row 50 - Cell 2|
|52||Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling||Row 51 - Cell 2|
|53||Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Astana Women's Team||Row 52 - Cell 2|
|54||Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota||Row 53 - Cell 2|
|55||Lourdes Oyarbide (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|56||Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Drops Cycling Team||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|57||Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Daniela Reis (Por) Lares-Waowdeals||Row 58 - Cell 2|
|60||Eva Buurman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team||Row 59 - Cell 2|
|61||Demi De Jong (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team||Row 60 - Cell 2|
|62||Natalya Saifutdinova (Kaz) Astana Women's Team||Row 61 - Cell 2|
|63||Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||Row 62 - Cell 2|
|64||Nathalie Verschelden (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women||Row 64 - Cell 2|
|66||Irena Ossola (USA) SAS - MACOGEP||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|67||Julie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5||Row 66 - Cell 2|
|68||Laura Camila Lozano (Col) Servetto Giusta||Row 67 - Cell 2|
|69||Spela Kern (Slo) Bizkaia-Durango||Row 68 - Cell 2|
|70||Sarah Inghelbrecht (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Julia Soek (Ned) Team Sunweb Women||Row 70 - Cell 2|
|72||Katia Ragusa (Ita) BePink Cogeas||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|73||Nina Buysman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Destil Cycling Team||Row 72 - Cell 2|
|74||Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle High5||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|75||AbbyMae Parkinson (GBr) Drops Cycling Team||Row 74 - Cell 2|
|76||Willeke Knol (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling||Row 75 - Cell 2|
|77||Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||Row 76 - Cell 2|
|78||Makhabbat Umutzhanova (Kaz) Astana Women's Team||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|79||Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling||Row 78 - Cell 2|
|80||Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling||Row 79 - Cell 2|
|81||Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||Row 80 - Cell 2|
|82||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota||Row 81 - Cell 2|
|83||Lorena Llamas (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango||Row 82 - Cell 2|
|84||Esra Tromp (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team||Row 83 - Cell 2|
|85||Simona Frapporti (Ita) Hitec Products||Row 84 - Cell 2|
|86||Sarah Rijkes (Aut) Lares-Waowdeals||Row 85 - Cell 2|
|87||Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) BePink Cogeas||Row 86 - Cell 2|
|88||Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé Cipollini||Row 87 - Cell 2|
|89||Anna Potokina (Rus) Servetto Giusta||Row 88 - Cell 2|
|90||Asja Paladin (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||Row 89 - Cell 2|
|91||Thalita De Jong (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals||Row 90 - Cell 2|
|92||Lisa Morzenti (Ita) Astana Women's Team||Row 91 - Cell 2|
|93||Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||Row 92 - Cell 2|
|94||Jessica Allen (Aus) Orica Scott Women||Row 93 - Cell 2|
|95||Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling||Row 94 - Cell 2|
|96||Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica Scott Women||Row 95 - Cell 2|
|97||Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica Scott Women||Row 96 - Cell 2|
|98||Coralie Demay (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||Row 97 - Cell 2|
|99||Stephanie Pohl (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team||Row 98 - Cell 2|
|100||Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing||Row 99 - Cell 2|
|101||Aude Biannic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||Row 100 - Cell 2|
|102||Joëlle Numainville (Can) Cylance Pro Cycling||0:07:16|
|DNF||Marjolaine Bazin (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP||Row 102 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Beatrice Rossato (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||Row 103 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Michela Pavin (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||Row 104 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Ana Maria Covrig (Rom) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Elena Leonardi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||Row 106 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Beatrice Bartelloni (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jelena Eric (Srb) BTC City Ljubljana||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Urša Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana||Row 109 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Alé Cipollini||Row 110 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Anna Trevisi (Ita) Alé Cipollini||Row 111 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Milagro Mena (CRc) SAS Macogep||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Soline Lamboley (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Lara Vieceli (Ita) Astana Women's Team||Row 114 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) BePink Cogeas||Row 115 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) BePink Cogeas||Row 116 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Annabel Simpson (GBr) Drops Cycling Team||Row 117 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Rebecca Durrell (GBr) Drops Cycling Team||Row 118 - Cell 2|
|DNF||AnnSophie Duyck (Bel) Drops Cycling Team||Row 119 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Yessica Pérez (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango||Row 120 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Paola Munoz (Chi) Bizkaia-Durango||Row 121 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Iris Sachet (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP||Row 122 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Emilie Rochedy (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP||Row 123 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team||Row 124 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Thea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products||Row 125 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Elise Delzenne (Fra) Lotto Soudal Ladies||Row 126 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Valerie Demey (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx||Row 127 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jessy Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx||Row 128 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Fien Delbaere (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx||Row 129 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kelly Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx||Row 130 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota||Row 131 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Amelie Rivat (Fra) Lares-Waowdeals||Row 132 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kelly Markus (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals||Row 133 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Lauren Kitchen (Aus) WM3 Pro Cycling||Row 134 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Valentina Scandolara (Ita) WM3 Pro Cycling||Row 135 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies||Row 136 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Trine Schmidt (Den) Lotto Soudal Ladies||Row 137 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Nina Kessler (Ned) Hitec Products||Row 138 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Charlotte Becker (Ger) Hitec Products||Row 139 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Susanne Andersen (Nor) Hitec Products||Row 140 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Ting Ying Huang (Tpe) Servetto Giusta||Row 141 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Kseniia Dobrynina (Rus) Servetto Giusta||Row 142 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Canyon SRAM Racing||Row 143 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon SRAM Racing||Row 144 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Claudia Koster (Ned) Team Veloconcept Women||Row 145 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Christina Siggaard (Den) Team Veloconcept Women||Row 146 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Pernille Mathiesen (Den) Team Veloconcept Women||Row 147 - Cell 2|
|DNS||Camilla Møllebro (Den) Team Veloconcept Women||Row 148 - Cell 2|
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