Anna Van der Breggen wins La Fleche Wallonne Feminine

Four days after soloing to her second Road World Championship title, Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) has won the women's Flèche Wallonne for the sixth consecutive time. On the steep Mur de Huy, Demi Vollering (Parkhotel Valkenburg) accelerated with 350 metres to go, but Van der Breggen easily got on her wheel. 

In the final metres, Vollering faltered, and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, who had until then stuck to Van der Breggen's wheel, had no match for the world champion's sprint. Uttrup Ludwig finished second with Vollering in third. Trek-Segafredo's Lizzie Deignan crossed the line in fourth place.

“It was such a hard race”, Van der Breggen said after the finish. “I am happy to be able to win. I think this was the closest of the past six editions, and I could feel in the race that I was pretty tired. The team did a lot for me this year, riding really hard, so I felt some pressure to finish it off.”

Van der Breggen led most of the way up the Mur de Huy, setting the pace and then responding to Vollering’s move. “Chantal [van den Broek-Blaak] and Amy [Pieters] dropped me off at the front”, Van der Breggen described the finish. “I go as fast as possible, but still leave something for the end. And if the others are coming, you need to follow. Demi was coming, and I waited a bit until the 150-metre sign, then I knew I can go all-out.”

How it unfolded

Kirstie van Haaften (Ciclotel), Mireia Benito (Massi-Tactic), and Marieke de Groot (Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport) attacked only a few kilometres into the 124km race and formed the early break. They were reeled in as the race entered the finishing circuit with 52km to go. It also started to rain, making the race even harder.

On the climbs that followed, a new front group of seven riders emerged. With Amy Pieters and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (both Boels Dolmans), Anouska Koster (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo), Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb), and Elise Chabbey (Équipe Paule Ka), several of the big teams were represented, and this group came onto the first ascent of the Mur de Huy 32km from the line with a 30-second advantage on the peloton.

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv) put in an acceleration on the steep slopes that fractured the peloton, and on the plateau following the climb the seven-rider break was caught by the best riders, forming a new front group of about 30 riders.

As Trek-Segafredo had Cordon-Ragot and Ruth Winder working hard for their leaders at the front of the group, Uttrup Ludwig suffered a mechanical that required a bike change. With no teammates around, the Dane then had to chase back by herself for several kilometres before rejoining the front.

Chabbey tried to attack over the top of the Côte d’Ereffe with 19km to go but was quickly reeled in again. Entering the penultimate climb, the Côte de Chemin des Gueuses with 11km to go, Boels Dolmans took control with Pieters and van den Broek-Blaak who set a high pace to discourage attacks and kept the group together into Huy.

At the foot of the Mur, 17 riders were still together, and Van der Breggen was at the front to set the pace. Vollering came alongside the world champion and attacked, but her move came too early. Uttrup Ludwig had been able to follow Van der Breggen’s acceleration but had nothing left to come around on the final metres.

Deignan had been a bit further back on the lower slopes and surged past several riders on the final 200 metres to take the fourth place, but lost the lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour to Van der Breggen.

Behind Deignan’s teammate Elisa Longo Borghini and Moolman-Pasio, 22-year-old Mikayla Harvey (Équipe Paule Ka) finished in seventh place. Liane Lippert defended her lead in the Women’s WorldTour U23 ranking by coming in eighth.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 3:17:28
2Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:00:02
3Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:00:06
4Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:00:11
5Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women
6Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv
7Mikayla Harvey (NZl) Equipe Paule Ka
8Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb Women 0:00:18
9Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:00:22
10Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-Sram Racing 0:00:25
11Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Movistar Team Women 0:00:32
12Niamh Fisher-Black (NZl) Equipe Paule Ka
13Grace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women 0:00:37
14Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women 0:00:41
15Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:00:43
16Anastasiia Chursina (Rus) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:00:46
17Marta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:01:01
18Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women 0:01:11
19Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:01:37
20Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram Racing
21Chantal Van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:01:54
22Juliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb Women 0:02:02
23Nancy Van der Burg (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:02:05
24Elise Chabbey (Swi) Equipe Paule Ka 0:02:08
25Urska Pintar (Slo) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:02:10
26Sandra Levenez (Fra) Team Arkea 0:02:20
27Anouska Koster (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:02:24
28Jelena Eric (Srb) Movistar Team Women 0:02:51
29Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:03:27
30Katia Ragusa (Ita) Astana Women's Team 0:03:39
31Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:04:00
32Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) CCC-Liv
33Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:05:46
34Eugenia Bujak (Slo) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:05:57
35Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team 0:06:07
36Hanna Nilsson (Swe) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:06:15
37Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:06:25
38Margarita Victoria Garcia Cañellas (Spa) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:06:49
39Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-Sram Racing 0:06:52
40Alison Jackson (Can) Team Sunweb Women 0:06:55
41Paula Andrea Patiño Bedoya (Col) Movistar Team Women 0:06:57
42Erica Magnaldi (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
43Teuntje Beekhuis (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:07:01
44Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women
45Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:07:05
46Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:07:07
47Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-Sram Racing
48Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:07:10
49Omer Shapira (Isr) Canyon-Sram Racing
50Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:07:13
51Gloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team Women 0:07:15
52Nikola Noskova (Cze) Equipe Paule Ka 0:07:19
53Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
54Carmela Cipriani (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
55Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano 0:07:31
56Evita Muzic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:07:34
57Aigul Gareeva (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro 0:08:36
58Maria Novolodskaya (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
59Diana Klimova (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro 0:09:09
60Sara Van de Vel (Bel) Ciclotel 0:09:22
61Valeriya Kononenko (Ukr) Ciclotel 0:09:50
62Manon Souyris (Fra) Charente-Maritime Women Cycling 0:10:54
63Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
64Typhaine Laurance (Fra) Team Arkea
65Gladys Verhulst (Fra) Team Arkea
66Kathrin Hammes (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
67Nicole Steigenga (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
68Georgia Williams (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott Women
69Sarah Rijkes (Aut) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
70Victorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:11:01
71Nina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:11:03
72India Grangier (Fra) Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
73Lara Vieceli (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
74Christina Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport 0:11:09
75Eva Buurman (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:11:12
76Rossella Ratto (Ita) Chevalmeire
77Nina Buijsman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
78Jade Wiel (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
79Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
80Leah Dixon (GBr) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
81Sharlotte Lucas (NZl) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
82Coralie Houdin (Fra) Team Arkea
83Julie Leth (Den) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
84Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) CCC-Liv
85Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:11:16
86Soraya Paladin (Ita) CCC-Liv
87Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-Sram Racing 0:11:20
88Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
89Laura Asencio (Fra) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
90Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
91Wilma Olausson (Swe) Team Sunweb Women 0:11:26
92Noemie Abgrall (Fra) Charente-Maritime Women Cycling 0:11:28
93Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Movistar Team Women 0:11:51
94Iuliia Galimullina (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro 0:14:10
95Kelly Van den Steen (Bel) Chevalmeire 0:14:42
96Mieke Docx (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
97Lone Meertens (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
98Alice Sharpe (Irl) Ciclotel 0:14:46
99Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa) Movistar Team Women
100Mireia Trias Jordan (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
101Jessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women 0:15:09
102Silvia Pollicini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:15:17
103Olha Kulynych (Ukr) Ciclotel 0:15:20
104Janneke Ensing (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women 0:15:47
OTLGabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) Massi Tactic Women Team
OTLGiulia Marchesini (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
OTLCoralie Demay (Fra) Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
OTLOlga Shekel (Ukr) Astana Women's Team
OTLAnastasia Carbonari (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
OTLSofia Collinelli (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
OTLKirstie Van Haaften (Ned) Ciclotel
DNFKim De Baat (Bel) Ciclotel
DNFAnna Plichta (Pol) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFNerea Nuño Iglesias (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFMartina Moreno (Sp) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFNoemi Rüegg (Swi) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
DNFIsabel Martin Martin (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFBlanca Liliana Moreno Canchon (Col) Astana Women's Team
DNFMireia Benito Pellicer (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFAlice Coutinho (Fra) Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
DNFThalita De Jong (Ned) Chevalmeire
DNFTayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFAnaïs Morichon (Fra) Team Arkea
DNFLucie Jounier (Fra) Team Arkea
DNFMarieke Van Witzenburg (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFKathrin Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFShannon Malseed (Aus) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFAnnabel Fisher (GBr) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
DNFJesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFJulie Van de Velde (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFFederica Piergiovanni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
DNFPuck Moonen (Ned) Chevalmeire
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Swi) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport

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