Blaak wins Gent-Wevelgem Women

Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) soloed to victory at Gent Wevelgem on Easter Sunday to assume the lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour. The 26-year-old slipped away from a select group of around 20 riders with ten kilometres still to race. Gap gained, Blaak never looked back, eventually reaching the finish line 1:24 ahead of a seven-rider chase group. Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-SRAM) edged out Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) in the small group sprint for second.

“It feels so good,” said Blaak in a post-race interview with Voxwomen. “I’m really happy to win this race.”

It’s a continuation of a stellar spring for Blaak, who finished second at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to teammate Lizzie Armistead and won Le Samyn and Ronde van Drenthe. Blaak’s results are part of a dominate early season for Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team. The Dutch-registered squad has won every round to date of the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour. Armitstead opened the series with a win at Strade Bianche. Blaak won from a small group at Ronde van Drenthe. Armistead snagged a second victory in Italy with a late race attack at Trofeo Binda. And today Blaak won Gent Wevelgem.

“The plan was to have numbers in the front and we had,” said Blaak. “Then you have to finish it together. It was cool that we did it.”

The 2016 women’s edition of Gent Wevelgem covered 115 kilometres with the race’s five ‘hellingen’ grouped mid-course. By the time the race had reached the first ascent of the Kemmelberg at the 51-kilometre mark, the peloton had split into two distinct groups. Following the first passage of the Kemmelberg, and elite selection had been made. Twenty-seven riders formed the leading group, and Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team had the full squad of six amongst the leaders.

“It was a really windy race,” said Blaak. “It split already early. The Kemmelberg was really hard, and after the Kemmelberg, we were still with the whole team, so that was impressive. The girls did such a good job.”

The attacks came thick and fast over the cobbles and climbs that make the region of Flanders famous in the sport of cycling. The attacks softened the reduced bunch and caused a further selection following the second time up the Kemmelberg.

With the climbs completed and 30 kilometres still to race, world champion Lizzie Armistead attacked twice in quick succession. A counter-attack by Blaak followed Armistead’s catch. The Dutchwoman immediately opened up a small gap on three chasers – Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-SRAM), Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-AIS).

“We started to play with numbers,” said Blaak. “In the end, I have an attack and the confidence that the girls were behind me. It was really good teamwork today.”

The UCI Women’s WorldTour continues next Sunday with the Tour of Flanders. “Next week is Flanders,” said Blaak. “I’m really looking forward to starting in this [Women’s WorldTour] jersey at my favourite classic.”

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 Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team2:56:00
2Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon-SRAM0:01:24
3Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
4Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle High5
5Carmen Small (USA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
6Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS
7Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Liv-Plantur
8Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
9Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle High50:01:27
10Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:01:32
11Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:02:23
12Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM
13Jolanda Neff (Swi) Servetto Footon
14Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica-AIS
15Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5
16Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) Bepink
17Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
18Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Wiggle High50:04:24
19Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS
20Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
21Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
22Joelle Numainville (Can) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
23Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Zannata
24Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS0:04:25
25Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Alé Cipollini
26Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur0:05:15
27Anouska Koster (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
28Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM
29Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
30Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle High5
31Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana
32Elizabeth Williams (Aus) Orica-AIS
33Eileen Roe (GBr) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
34Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products
35Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
36Chanella Stougje (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
37Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
38Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
39Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM
40Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
41Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare Women
42Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
43Allie Dragoo (USA) Twenty16 - Ridebiker
44Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
45Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM
46Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
47Loren Rowney (Aus) Orica-AIS
48Janneke Ensing (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
49Linda Melanie Villumsen (NZl) UnitedHealthcare Women
50Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products
51Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
52Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
53Valerie Demey (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or0:05:21
54Lauren Stephens (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:05:24
55Brianna Walle (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:05:40
56Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team0:07:02
57Alison Jackson (Can) Twenty16 - Ridebiker
58Eugénie Duval (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
59Ann-Sofie Duyck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
60Nina Kessler (Ned) Lensworld-Zannata
61Iris Slappendel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Women
62Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Bepink
63Sara Mustonen (Swe) Team Liv-Plantur
64Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé Cipollini
65Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Alé Cipollini
66Esra Tromp (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
67Ganna Solovei (Ukr) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team0:10:45
68Jelena Eric (Srb) BTC City Ljubljana
69Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
70Diana Peñuela (Col) UnitedHealthcare Women
71Anna Plichta (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana
72Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
73Clara Koppenburg (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
74Katia Ragusa (Ita) Servetto Footon
75Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Servetto Footon
76Sofia Arreola (Mex) Twenty16 - Ridebiker
77Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products
78Dani King (GBr) Wiggle High5
79Leah Thomas (USA) Twenty16 - Ridebiker
80Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Twenty16 - Ridebiker
81Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata
82Jessica Cerra (USA) Twenty16 - Ridebiker
83Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
84Alison Tetrick (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling
85Lauren Komanski (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
86Louisa Lobigs (Aus) Australia
87Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:10:49
88Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Hitec Products
89Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Bepink0:11:20
DNFJulia Soek (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur
DNFKyara Stijns (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur
DNFRiejanne Markus (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur
DNFJessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFWilleke Knol (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFCecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Nor) Hitec Products
DNFCharlotte Becker (Ger) Hitec Products
DNFNicole Brändli (Swi) Servetto Footon
DNFMolly Meyvisch (Bel) Servetto Footon
DNFAnna Potokina (Rus) Servetto Footon
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Alé Cipollini
DNFMartina Alzini (Ita) Alé Cipollini
DNFEmilia Fahlin (Swe) Alé Cipollini
DNFShelley Olds (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFValentina Scandolara (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFRachele Barbieri (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFSheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFAnnelies Dom (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata
DNFWinanda Spoor (Ned) Lensworld-Zannata
DNFKaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata
DNFMonique Van De Ree (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
DNFLotte Van Hoek (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
DNFJesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
DNFSarah Inghelbrecht (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
DNFGilke Croket (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
DNFJessy Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
DNFLenore Pipes (Gum) Bepink
DNFLex Albrecht (Can) Bepink
DNFTereza Medvedova (Svk) Bepink
DNFCoral Casado Ortiz (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFRoos Hoogeboom (Ned) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFLierni Lekuona Etxebeste (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFLourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFPaula Lanz Blazquez (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFNahia Leonet (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFPolona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFMia Radotic (Cro) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFUrsa Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Swi) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
DNFRoxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFAude Biannic (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFCoralie Demay (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFVictorie Guilman (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFLauren Hall (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFEmily Collins (NZl) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFHayley Simmonds (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Women
DNFAnnie Ewart (Can) UnitedHealthcare Women
DNFShannon Malseed (Aus) Australia
DNFJenelle Crooks (Aus) Australia
DNFErin Kinnealy (Aus) Australia
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Australia
DNSKimberley Wells (Aus) Australia

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