Van der Breggen wins La Fleche Wallonne Feminine

Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) won La Flèche Wallonne Féminine for the fifth time in a row on Wednesday. The world champion emerged as the strongest on the finishing climb, biding her time as a late attack from Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb) was reeled in on the lower slopes of the Mur de Huy.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) increased the pace and took the lead, but van der Breggen surged past with about 200 metres to go and held off Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) and Annika Langvad (Boels Dolmans) to win.

How it unfolded

Starting and finishing in Huy, the race included seven ascents of four hard climbs on 118.5 kilometres. The Côte d’Ereffe, Côte de Cherave and Mur de Huy were part of a finishing circuit and each climbed twice in the final 50km. Unfortunately, the women's Flèche Wallonne was not broadcast live, the first of this year's UCI Women's WorldTour races not to offer live footage.

After several unsuccessful attempts to form a break in the early parts of the race, a group of six that formed after 30km got away. Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar Team), Diana Peñuela (Alé Cipollini), Lauren Stephens (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank), Loes Adegeest (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Tatiana Riabchenko (Doltcini-Van Eyck), and Marie-Soleil Blais (Astana Women’s Team) increased their advantage to 2:30 minutes on the Côte de Wârre, the first climb of the day, though Adegeest had to let go of the group.

Due to a high pace by the peloton, only 35 seconds were left at the start of the Côte d’Ereffe where the break fell apart. Riabchenko was the last escapee to be caught 42km from the finish. On the Côte de Cherave, Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) and Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) set a high pace that reduced the size of the peloton.

The first ascent of the Mur de Huy with 29km to go was not yet done at full speed, enabling Riabchenko to crest the climb in first position, closely followed by a peloton of about 40 riders. After all these efforts, the Belarusian eventually finished in a strong 19th place.

Four riders launched an attack with 22km left to race: Jeanne Korevaar (CCC-Liv), Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Cylance), Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo), and Olga Shekel (Astana Women's Team) started the Côte d’Ereffe 20 seconds ahead of the peloton that had grown to around 60 riders. They held this advantage on the climb but were caught in the following descent.

Alison Jackson (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) attacked with 10km to go, but the Canadian was reeled in on the Côte de Cherave. Niewiadoma attacked for the first time, which led to a group of 13 riders containing most of the favourites breaking away on the climb. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) was the next to go over the top but was caught in the descent to the Meuse river where more riders came back from behind.

Then it was Mackaij, who launched a solo attack with less than three kilometres to go and got a gap of 15 seconds. She led the race onto the final kilometre up the Mur de Huy but ultimately could not hold off the strongest riders.

Van der Breggen passed Mackaij with about 500 metres to go, then Niewiadoma made her move and took the lead. Using her experience, van der Breggen waited until the final 200 metres where she passed Niewiadoma and rode to her fifth consecutive Flèche Wallonne victory.

Behind van der Breggen, her teammate Langvad showed a strong performance and was passed only by van Vleuten, who took second place ahead of the Dane.

Van Vleuten is now only 60 points behind UCI Women's WorldTour leader Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtu Cycling), who was not racing today. Sofia Bertizzolo (Team Virtu Cycling) continues to lead youth classification at the Women's WorldTour, tied in points with runner-up Marta Cavalli (Valcar Cylance). 


Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam3:17:04
2Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women0:00:01
3Annika Langvad (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:00:04
4Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv0:00:14
5Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg0:00:16
6Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM0:00:17
7Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv0:00:20
8Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:00:23
9Brodie Chapman (Aus) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:00:26
10Margarita Victo Garcia Cañellas (Spa) Movistar Team Women0:00:33
11Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women0:00:36
12Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 12 - Cell 2
14Julie Van de Velde (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:00:38
15Rachel Neylan (Aus) Team Virtu Cycling0:00:40
16Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:00:45
17Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women0:00:51
18Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 17 - Cell 2
19Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport0:00:54
20Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women0:00:56
21Jolanda Neff (Swi) Trek-Segafredo Women0:01:01
22Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) BePinkRow 21 - Cell 2
23Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo Women0:01:09
24Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Parkhotel Valkenburg0:01:10
25Elise Chabbey (Swi) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:01:14
26Anastasiia Chursina (Rus) BTC City Ljubljana0:01:15
27Erica Magnaldi (Ita) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling0:01:19
28Katharine Hall (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:01:22
29Urska Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana0:01:24
30Marta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar-Cylance Cycling0:01:38
31Evita Muzic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:01:41
32Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:01:44
33Maria Novolodskaya (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look0:01:46
34Eider Merino Cortazar (Spa) Movistar Team WomenRow 33 - Cell 2
35Nikola Noskova (Cze) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:01:56
36Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM0:01:59
37Alison Jackson (Can) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:02:03
38Juliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb WomenRow 37 - Cell 2
39Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano0:02:06
40Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women0:02:07
41Olga Shekel (Ukr) Astana Women's Team0:02:15
42Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Ale Cipollini0:02:17
43Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling0:02:19
44Marion Sicot (Fra) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport0:02:23
45Katia Ragusa (Ita) BePink0:02:26
46Sophie Wright (GBr) Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Lara Vieceli (Ita) WNT-Rotor Pro CyclingRow 46 - Cell 2
48Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb WomenRow 47 - Cell 2
49Anouska Koster (Ned) Team Virtu Cycling0:02:30
50Elena Pirrone (Ita) Astana Women's Team0:02:35
51Whitney Allison (USA) Hagens Berman-Supermint0:02:40
52Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana0:02:44
53Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling0:02:51
54Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Cylance CyclingRow 53 - Cell 2
55Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) CCC-LivRow 54 - Cell 2
56Janneke Ensing (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:03:23
57Danielle Christmas (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:04:34
58Sofia Beggin (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano0:04:42
59Victorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:04:51
60Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women0:04:57
61Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Valcar-Cylance Cycling0:05:00
62Riejanne Markus (Ned) CCC-Liv0:05:07
63Nadia Quagliotto (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:05:15
64Barbara Malcotti (Ita) Valcar-Cylance Cycling0:07:11
65Shannon Malseed (Aus) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank0:07:18
66Agnieszka Skalniak (Pol) CCC-Liv0:07:33
67Grace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women0:08:43
68Elizabeth Banks (GBr) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:08:58
69Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women0:09:19
70Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo WomenRow 69 - Cell 2
71Leigh Ganzar (USA)Row 70 - Cell 2
72Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Canyon-SRAM0:09:26
73Jade Wiel (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:09:27
74Mikayla Harvey (NZl) Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:09:45
75Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM0:09:47
76Romy Kasper (Ger) Ale CipolliniRow 75 - Cell 2
77Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Movistar Team Women0:09:58
78Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team WomenRow 77 - Cell 2
DNFHarriet Owen (GBr) Hagens Berman-SupermintRow 78 - Cell 2
DNFZsófia Szabó (Hun) Health Mate-Ladies TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFChantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 80 - Cell 2
DNFVania Canvelli (Ita) BePinkRow 81 - Cell 2
DNFSimona Frapporti (Ita) BePinkRow 82 - Cell 2
DNFNicole Steigenga (Ned) BePinkRow 83 - Cell 2
DNFSilvia Valsecchi (Ita) BePinkRow 84 - Cell 2
DNFKylie Waterreus (Ned) Health Mate-Ladies TeamRow 85 - Cell 2
DNFLara Defour (Bel) Health Mate-Ladies TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
DNFVeronika Anna Kormos (Hun) Health Mate-Ladies TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
DNFEsther Meisels (Isr) Health Mate-Ladies TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
DNFElizaveta Oshurkova (Rus) Cogeas Mettler LookRow 89 - Cell 2
DNFJesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck SportRow 90 - Cell 2
DNFSeverine Eraud (Fra) Doltcini-Van Eyck SportRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFMieke Docx (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck SportRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFNicole Nesti (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-VaianoRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFCarmela Cipriani (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-VaianoRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFAngelica Brogi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-VaianoRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFLily Williams (USA) Hagens Berman-SupermintRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFAnastasiia Pliaskina (Rus) Cogeas Mettler LookRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFSuzanne Verhoeven (Bel) Health Mate-Ladies TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFOlga Deyko (Rus) Cogeas Mettler LookRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFAntri Christoforou (Cyp) Cogeas Mettler LookRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFGulnaz Badykova (Rus) Cogeas Mettler LookRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFLiza Rachetto (USA) Hagens Berman-SupermintRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFLauren Stephens (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley BankRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFLindsay Goldman (USA) Hagens Berman-SupermintRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFMarie Dessart (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFLetizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-VaianoRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFMoniek Tenniglo (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott WomenRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFGloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team WomenRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFLorena Llamas Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team WomenRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFElena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAMRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFAlexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAMRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFSara Penton (Swe) Team Virtu CyclingRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFLouise Hansen (Den) Team Virtu CyclingRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFRoxane Knetemann (Ned) Parkhotel ValkenburgRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFEugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFMia Radotic (Cro) BTC City LjubljanaRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott WomenRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFPaulien Rooijakkers (Ned) CCC-LivRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFJip van den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFEva Buurman (Ned) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFChantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFAnisha Vekemans (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck SportRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFMarie Le Net (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine FuturoscopeRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFGabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) WNT-Rotor Pro CyclingRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFEsther van Veen (Ned) Parkhotel ValkenburgRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFLoes Adegeest (Ned) Parkhotel ValkenburgRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFRozanne Slik (Ned) Tibco-Silicon Valley BankRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFNina Kessler (Ned) Tibco-Silicon Valley BankRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFJeydy Pradera Bernal (Cub) Astana Women's TeamRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFMarina Kurnossova (Kaz) Astana Women's TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFUrska Bravec (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFCoryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb WomenRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFUrska Zigart (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFKathrin Hammes (Ger) WNT-Rotor Pro CyclingRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFLaura Asencio (Fra) WNT-Rotor Pro CyclingRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Ale CipolliniRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFDiana Carolina Peñuela Martinez (Col) Ale CipolliniRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFAlessia Vigilia (Ita) Valcar-Cylance CyclingRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFDalia Muccioli (Ita) Valcar-Cylance CyclingRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFSylvie Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel ValkenburgRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFMarie Soleil Blais (Can) Astana Women's TeamRow 141 - Cell 2


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