Van der Breggen wins La Fleche Wallonne Feminine

Anna van der Breggen (Team SD Worx) won the Flèche Wallonne Féminine for the seventh time in a row with another show of climbing ability and control.  

Leading a small group of favourites onto the Mur de Huy and catching lone attacker Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) early on the climb, Van der Breggen remained in control all the way up to the finish. 

Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) was the only one who could stay with the world champion, and the two rode side by side until Van der Breggen started her sprint with 100 metres to go, quickly distancing Niewiadoma and surging to victory. 

Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) finished in third place, beating Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) in a bike throw to the line.

“It is mostly about the Mur in the end, but the race was hard from the beginning, the pace was really high on all the climbs," Van der Breggen said of her historic seventh victory.  

“It was a good battle with Kasia and she was strong, but I am really happy I could win this one. It is a strange thought that I am sitting here for the last time in this race. But next year I won’t bother the girls anymore, it’s up to somebody else, and that’s a good thing. Seven straight wins is incredible.”

"We made some tactical mistakes and needed to chase, but the team did that really well. And in the final, Demi [Vollering] almost closed the gap to Ruth, that was incredible.”

“We did not have control during the whole race, so there was a bit more pressure for me, too, because the girls had worked so hard already," she continued. 

How it unfolded

Marta Lach (Ceratizit-WNT) and Femke Gerritse (Parkhotel Valkenburg) formed the early breakaway but were reeled in by the peloton halfway through the 130.2-kilometre race. 

The next move came from Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo), Anna Henderson (Team Jumbo-Visma), and Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM) who built an advantage of up to 1:20 minutes during an aggressive race.

Their lead dropped to 31 seconds at the first passage of the finish line atop the Mur de Huy with 31.7 km to go, and Team SD Worx continued to chase hard to reduce the gap further until the break was reeled in just after the Côte d’Ereffe during the final circuit.

US national champion Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) attacked on her own, and as the pace in the peloton slowed, Chabbey was able to get away again and start a solo chase. The Swiss champion crashed in a tight corner and was caught on the run-in to the penultimate climb, the Côte de chemin des Gueuses. However Winder was still ahead and fully committed to the attack, forcing Trek-Segafredo’s rivals to make the chase.

An acceleration by Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) on the Côte de chemin des Gueuses split the peloton, with only nine riders remaining in the first group, less than ten seconds behind Winder. They were Van Vleuten, Longo Borghini, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), Van der Breggen, Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange), Niewiadoma, Juliette Labous (Team DSM), Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx), and Margarita Victoria García (Alé BTC Ljubljana).

This group of nine traded attacks on the way towards Huy, though nobody could get away. 

With the pace rising and falling, Winder extended her gap to 30 seconds again and seemed to have a chance of victory. However Vollering took the lead in the group, working for her teammate van der Breggen, and reduced the gap to only a few seconds as Winder started the Mur de Huy.

Van der Breggen led the group of favourites onto the climb, soon went past Winder, and stayed in front for most of the Mur as one rider after the other suffered and lost contact.

Only Niewiadoma could keep up with van der Breggen, riding side by side with the world champion and even making an acceleration 150 metres from the line that briefly put the 26-year-old Pole in the lead. However, Van der Breggen responded with her own surge at the 100-metre mark and left Niewiadoma behind to celebrate her seventh consecutive victory in the Flèche Wallonne Féminine.

Although she finished outside the top-ten, Marianne Vos (Team Jumbo-Visma) defended the lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour ranking. 

Maria Novolodskaya (A.R. Monex) took the lead in the Women’s WorldTour U23 ranking.

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Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Team SD Worx 3:28:27
2Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:00:02
3Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:06
4Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar Team Women
5Mavi Garcia (Spa) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:00:22
6Juliette Labous (Fra) Team DSM 0:00:28
7Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:31
8Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:00:32
9Amanda Spratt (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:00:35
10Demi Vollering (Ned) Team SD Worx 0:00:42
11Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:01:32
12Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Team SD Worx 0:01:36
13Erica Magnaldi (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team 0:01:38
14Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Rally Cycling 0:01:39
15Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Movistar Team Women 0:01:42
16Leah Thomas (USA) Movistar Team Women
17Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:01:43
18Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Liv Racing 0:01:45
19Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:01:48
20Evita Muzic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:01:50
21Mariia Novolodskaia (Rus) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team 0:01:53
22Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:01:55
23Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:03
24Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:02:06
25Mikayla Harvey (NZl) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:02:07
26Soraya Paladin (Ita) Liv Racing 0:02:21
27Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) Team BikeExchange
28Hanna Nilsson (Swe) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:03:20
29Sandra Levenez (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team
30Niamh Fisher-Black (NZl) Team SD Worx 0:03:23
31Janneke Ensing (Ned) Team BikeExchange
32Julie Van De Velde (Bel) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
33Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:03:27
34Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Segafredo
35Anna Shackley (GBr) Team SD Worx 0:03:30
36Clara Koppenburg (Ger) Rally Cycling 0:03:36
37Barbara Malcotti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:03:39
38Eider Merino Cortazar (Spa) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team 0:03:45
39Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:03:57
40Coryn Rivera (USA) Team DSM 0:05:11
41Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Team SD Worx 0:05:17
42Arlenis Sierra Canadilla (Cub) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
43Thalita De Jong (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
44Joscelin Lowden (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur 0:05:25
45Marit Raaijmakers (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:05:30
46Marlen Reusser (Swi) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
47Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:05:35
48Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing 0:05:37
49Kathrin Hammes (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team 0:05:42
50Omer Shapira (Isr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
51Lucie Jounier (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team 0:05:56
52Paula Patiño Bedoya (Col) Movistar Team Women 0:05:58
53Federica Piergiovanni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:05:59
54Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing 0:06:08
55Léa Curinier (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team 0:06:12
56Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:06:15
57Julia van Bokhoven (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:06:26
58Anna Henderson (GBr) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:06:59
59Anastasiia Chursina (Rus) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:09:47
60Teuntje Beekhuis (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:09:49
61Olha Kulynych (Ukr) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team 0:09:52
62Sara Martin Martin (Spa) Movistar Team Women 0:09:54
63Lara Vieceli (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
64Emily Newsom (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:09:57
65Carolin Schiff (Ger) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch 0:09:59
66Michaela Drummond (NZl) BePink
67Olga Zabelinskaya (Uzb) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team
68Lone Meertens (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:10:02
69Anna Christian (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur 0:10:08
70Nina Buijsman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:10:12
71Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:10:14
72Georgia Williams (NZl) Team BikeExchange
73Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
74Romy Kasper (Ger) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:10:18
75Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Liv Racing
76Liane Lippert (Ger) Team DSM
77Nadia Quagliotto (Ita) BePink
78Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:11:07
79Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Trek-Segafredo 0:11:11
80Aigul Gareeva (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team 0:12:13
81Marta Lach (Pol) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team 0:13:32
82Marta Jaskulska (Pol) Liv Racing 0:13:40
83Sara Poidevin (Can) Rally Cycling 0:13:48
OTLStine Borgli (Nor) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
OTLNina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
OTLMarta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
OTLSophie Wright (GBr) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
OTLLaura Asencio (Fra) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
OTLAlana Castrique (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
OTLElise Vander Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
OTLEleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
OTLSilvia Magri (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
OTLSilvia Pollicini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
OTLFemke Gerritse (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
OTLDanielle Christmas (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
OTLSara Penton (Swe) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
OTLTyphaine Laurance (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team
OTLGreta Richioud (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team
OTLIuliia Galimullina (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team
OTLJustine Ghekiere (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
OTLKelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
OTLAmber Aernouts (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
OTLFien Van Eynde (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
OTLKatie Clouse (USA) Rally Cycling
OTLHeidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling
OTLLeigh Ann Ganzar (USA) Rally Cycling
OTLVania Canvelli (Ita) BePink
OTLMae Lang (Est) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
OTLGeorgia Danford (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
OTLRylee McMullen (NZl) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
OTLSandra Weiss (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
DNFLieke Nooijen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFSofie van Rooijen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFMariia Miliaeva (Rus) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
DNFMaria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
DNFAlice Towers (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
DNFMaike Van der Duin (Ned) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
DNFHannah Buch (Ger) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team
DNFThalea Mäder (Ger) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team
DNFPetra Stiasny (Swi) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team
DNFClaudia Jongerius (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
DNFMinke Bakker (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFBarbara Sniezynska (Pol) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFCamilla Alessio (Ita) BePink
DNFMarketa Hájková (Cze) BePink
DNFSilvia Zanardi (Ita) BePink
DNSMarta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope

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