D'hoore wins Gent-Wevelgem Women

Jolien D'hoore (Boels Dolmans) has won the women's edition of Gent-Wevelgem. A strong group of 11 riders formed on the Kemmelberg with 35km to go and just held off the chasing peloton on the road to Wevelgem.

After several attacks on the run-in were reeled in, Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal) launched the sprint but was passed by D'hoore shortly before the finish. Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT) rounded out the podium.

"I don't know what to say, it's unbelievable", D'hoore said after her first Gent-Wevelgem victory, following two second places in 2017 and 2018. "I know that the course suits me, I felt good during the race and got over the Kemmelberg with the first group. I had Amy Pieters with me in that front group, she did a perfect job today. I am so happy that I could win in this special season, it is always nice and takes the pressure off."

D'hoore explained how her recent training helped her to victory: "The last month, I did a lot of intervals and climbing, hoping that I can survive the climbs in the Tour of Flanders. That really paid off today. In the final, I tried to save myself for the sprint, I knew I couldn't start the sprint too early, but luckily Amy was there and reminded me to stay calm."

How it unfolded

Defending champion Kirsten Wild did not start the race after testing positive for COVID-19 while the Alé Cipollini team was also absent because of a virus case in their squad.

The race started at the Menin Gate in Ypres, a memorial to the victims of World War I. The peloton had to negotiate seven climbs and three gravel sections known as Plugstreets as well as westerly winds.

There were numerous attempts to establish a breakaway in the opening part of the race. However, none of the groups ever held an advantage of more than 30 seconds, and the first climb of the day, the Scherpenberg, spelled the end of the early breakaways.

On the following climbs of the Vidaigneberg, Baneberg, and Monteberg, the race stayed together, though riders were dropped at the back of the peloton. The first ascent of the Kemmelberg further reduced the size of the peloton.

The unsealed Plugstreets strung out the race even further, with the peloton in single file and gaps appearing, but the pace at the front fell again in the headwind on the way to the last two climbs, and many riders could get back to the front.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) put in an acceleration on the Monteberg, but her move was immediately closed down. Brennauer and then Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) pushed the pace up the Kemmelberg, splitting the peloton and leading to a small group at the top. A crash by Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb) on the narrow descent split this group in two, but they reunited to form a front group of eleven.

Van Dijk, Longo Borghini, Lizzie Deignan (all Trek-Segafredo), Pieters, D'hoore, Vollering (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Marta Cavalli (Valcar-Travel & Service), Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB), Kopecky, Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott), and Brennauer worked well together and built an advantage of over 30 seconds to a chasing group of 23 riders.

Even though Team Sunweb, CCC-Liv, and Canyon-SRAM all worked hard in the chase group, the gap stayed stable for a long time before finally getting smaller to 22 seconds as the race entered the final ten kilometres. In Menin, 7km from the finish, the gap was down to only 15 seconds.

On the run-in to Wevelgem, there were several attacks from the front group, but neither Van Dijk nor Longo Borghini or Pieters could get away and finally, everyone readied themselves for the sprint. The chase group had the leaders in sight on the final kilometre, but it was clear that the winner would come from the front group.

Pieters did an acceleration on the left side of the road, forcing Kopecky to react and start her sprint early. The Belgian champion had a good turn of speed and pulled away from most of the other riders. But D'hoore sat in her wheel and came past Kopecky on the final 100 metres to win.

With an eighth place, Deignan defended her lead in the UCI Women's WorldTour ahead of the Tour of Flanders. Lippert continues to lead the Women's WorldTour U23 ranking.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolien D`Hoore (Bel) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 3:33:15
2Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
3Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
4Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
5Marta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
6Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
7Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
8Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo Women
9Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:00:05
10Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:00:08
11Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
12Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
13Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
14Emma Cecilie Norsgaard Jørgensen (Den) Equipe Paule Ka
15Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
16Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram Racing
17Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
18Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
19Jelena Eric (Srb) Movistar Team Women
20Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) CCC-Liv
21Grace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
22Riejanne Markus (Ned) CCC-Liv
23Stine Borgli (Nor) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
24Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women
25Silvia Pollicini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
26Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo Women
27Elise Chabbey (Swi) Equipe Paule Ka
28Valerie Demey (Bel) CCC-Liv
29Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-Sram Racing
30Marlen Reusser (Swi) Equipe Paule Ka 0:00:23
31Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women 0:00:28
32Alison Jackson (Can) Team Sunweb Women 0:00:40
33Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-Sram Racing
34Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:02:04
35Diana Klimova (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro 0:03:48
36Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
37Julie Leth (Den) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
38Lily Williams (USA) Rally Cycling Women
39Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team
40Julia Borgström (Swe) NXTG Racing
41Katia Ragusa (Ita) Astana Women's Team
42Lonneke Uneken (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
43Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
44Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
45Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
46Kathrin Hammes (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
47Gloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team Women
48Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies
49Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
50Chloe Hosking (Aus) Rally Cycling Women
51Nicole Steigenga (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport 0:05:46
52Valeriya Kononenko (Ukr) Ciclotel
53Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-Sram Racing
54Anouska Koster (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
55Danielle Christmas (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies
56Mikayla Harvey (NZl) Equipe Paule Ka
57Sharlotte Lucas (NZl) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
58Maëlle Grossetete (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
59Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies
60Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
61Evy Kuijpers (Ned) CCC-Liv
62Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb Women
63Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram Racing
64Niamh Fisher-Black (NZl) Equipe Paule Ka
65Gracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
66Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Chevalmeire 0:08:12
67Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women
68Eva Buurman (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
69Marit Raaijmakers (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
70Aigul Gareeva (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro 0:09:21
71Franziska Koch (Ger) Team Sunweb Women
72Mieke Kröger (Ger) Hitec Products-Birk Sport 0:10:33
73Olga Shekel (Ukr) Astana Women's Team
74Kelly Van den Steen (Bel) Chevalmeire
75Kylie Waterreus (Ned) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
76Céline Van Houtum (Ned) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
77Marieke Van Witzenburg (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
78Olha Kulynych (Ukr) Ciclotel
79Nathalie Bex (Bel) Chevalmeire
80Alice Sharpe (Irl) Ciclotel
81Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Parkhotel Valkenburg
82Leah Dixon (GBr) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
83Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
84Marie Soleil Blais (Can) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
85Charlotte Kool (Ned) NXTG Racing
86Esther Van Veen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
87Minke Bakker (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
88Christina Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
89Heidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling Women
90Lara Vieceli (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
91Sarah Rijkes (Aut) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
92Kathrin Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
93Emily Newsom (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
94Lauren Kitchen (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
95Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Movistar Team Women
96Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Movistar Team Women
97Alba Teruel Ribes (Spa) Movistar Team Women 0:10:40
98Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo Women
99Trixi Worrack (Ger) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:10:45
100Roxane Fournier (Fra) Chevalmeire Cycling Team
101Janneke Ensing (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women
102Hanna Johansson (Swe) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies 0:19:00
103Noemi Rüegg (Swi) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro 0:19:03
104Jessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
105Jessica Roberts (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott Women
106Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) Equipe Paule Ka
DNFAnnabel Fisher (GBr) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
DNFNina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFLisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFShannon Malseed (Aus) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFFien Delbaere (Bel) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
DNFBlanca Liliana Moreno Canchon (Col) Astana Women's Team
DNFKirstie Van Haaften (Ned) Ciclotel
DNFIuliia Galimullina (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
DNFLeigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Rally Cycling Women
DNFSara Poidevin (Can) Rally Cycling Women
DNFEmma White (USA) Rally Cycling Women
DNFSara Van de Vel (Bel) Ciclotel
DNFEmily Wadsworth (GBr) NXTG Racing
DNFLara Defour (Bel) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
DNFCathalijne Hoolwerf (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFVictoire Berteau (Fra) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFRuth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFRozemarijn Ammerlaan (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFSilje Mathisen (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFGreta Richioud (Fra) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFElisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
DNFDanique Braam (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFAnna Badegruber (Aut) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
DNFLucy Van der Haar (GBr) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFFrancesca Pattaro (Ita) Astana Women's Team
DNSThalita De Jong (Ned) Chevalmeire
DNSKim De Baat (Bel) Ciclotel

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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.

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