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Emma Norsgaard wins Le Samyn des Dammes

Emma Norsgaard won the Le Samyn des Dames with a strong sprint
(Image credit: Rafa Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)

Emma Norsgaard (opens in new tab) of Movistar (opens in new tab) produced a powerful sprint to win Le Samyn des Dames, beating Chiara Consonni (opens in new tab) (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) to the line in Dour.

The Dane was the pre-race favourite after placing second a year ago, but the race looked to be slipping from her grasp as Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) and Guazzini jumped clear with six kilometres to go and extended their advantage on the final cobbled section on the Rue de Belle Vue.

"The finish could have been a stressful one with those two girls at the front," Norsgaard said, "but I knew that I had some strong teammates taking care of the gap and I tried to keep myself composed, head down, ‘stay calm, it’s going to be fine, just seek for your distance and go for your sprint’. And in the end, it was perfect!"

That pairing maintained an advantage into the final kilometre, where Van Anrooij performed the pace-setting, but the long drag to the line ultimately proved their undoing. Indeed, despite Guazzini’s presence in front, it was an FDJ rider who opened the sprint behind, with Clara Copponi winding up her effort from distance.

Copponi was soon out-matched by Norsgaard, who accelerated smoothly to come past the two escapees within sight of the line. Consonni battled to get on terms, but it was quickly apparent that she was racing for second place. Guazzini kept some speed to take third.

"It’s a really nice way to get the season started with this Opening Weekend, full of results for the whole team here in Belgium," Norsgaard added. "Now it’s time to catch some air and get back to the really big classics starting with De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem. It’s going to be ‘full gas’ from there for a month, and I’m looking so much forward to it.”

The one-day race was attritional in its early phases. As is often the case in this corner of the world, the selection came from the back of the peloton rather than the front, with riders gradually shaken loose as the day progressed and more cobbled sections were traversed.

After being flagged away from the start in Quaregnon, the peloton was more or less intact after the first three cobbled sectors at Vert Pignon, La Roquette and the Chemin de Wiheries, though a brief split on the third segment was a forewarning of what was to come.

The first passages over the Côte des Nonettes and Rue Belle Vue whittled the bunch down somewhat and the race gradually began to ignite after passing through the finish line in Dour for the first time with 50km remaining.

Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) was the day’s chief animator, attacking alone ahead of the final lap and at one point amassing a lead of some 40 seconds over her pursuers. The Australian’s lone effort continued deep into the race and she still had 20 seconds in hand over a much reduced peloton by the time she tackled the Chemin de Wiheries with 14km remaining.

That sector of cobbles saw accelerations in the chasing group, as Alice Barnes (Canyon-Sram) attacked with intent and set off in lone pursuit of Brown. After a grim pursuit, she eventually inched her way up to Brown inside the final 10km and then distanced the Australian on the Côte de Nonette.

That short, sharp climb whittled down the chasing group to just twenty or so riders, and they brought Barnes to heel shortly over the other side, and the indefatigable Brown briefly returned to the front to work on Guazzini and Copponi’s behalf.

After Audrey Cordon-Ragot’s attack was snuffed out, her Trek-Segafredo teammate Van Anrooij accelerated with purpose just under 6km from home. The Dutchwoman was joined by Guazzini and that duo extended their lead over a strangely impassive chasing group on the Rue de Belle Vue, thanks largely to Van Anrooij’s forcing.

At that point, it looked as though the leading pair would decide the spoils, but the efforts of Silvia Perisco (Valcar Travel & Service) and Aude Biannic (Movistar) would reduce their advantage beneath the flamme rouge.

By now, Van Anrooij was left to do all the pace-making in front, with Guazzini tucked on her wheel on the long drag to the finish. As the chasers drew closer, it was Guazzini’s teammate Copponi who opened the sprint behind, but Norsgaard’s speed won the argument.

Consonni came through for second, while Guazzini held on for third ahead of Susanne Andersen (Uno-X) and Copponi.

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emma Norsgaard Bjerg (Den) Movistar Team Women 2:36:17
2Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
3Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
4Susanne Andersen (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Women
5Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6Maria Van 'T Geloof (Ned) Le Col Wahoo
7Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Trek-Segafredo Women
8Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram Racing
9Shari Bossuyt (Bel) Canyon-Sram Racing
10Laura Tomasi (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
11Lucie Jounier (Fra) Arkea Team
12Arianna Fidanza (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
13Rachele Barbieri (Ita) Liv Racing Xstra
14Femke Markus (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
15Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
16Simone Boilard (Can) St Michel-Auber 93
17Josie Nelson (GBr) Team Coop-Hitec Products
18Chloe Hosking (Aus) Trek-Segafredo Women
19Megan Jastrab (USA) Team DSM Women
20Martina Alzini (Ita) Cofidis Women Team
21Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
22Maria Martins (Por) Le Col Wahoo 0:00:05
23Silke Smulders (Ned) Liv Racing Xstra 0:00:07
24Amber van der Hulst (Ned) Liv Racing Xstra 0:00:13
25Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing Xstra
26Léa Curinier (Fra) Team DSM Women 0:00:23
27Amalie Lutro (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Women 0:00:25
28Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:00:30
29Elizabeth Holden (GBr) Le Col Wahoo 0:00:35
30Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women 0:00:41
31Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Movistar Team Women
32Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:00:47
33Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
34Mischa Bredewold (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:01:00
35Kylie Waterreus (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies
36Mareille Meijering (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
37Julia Borgström (Swe) NXTG by Experza
38Caroline Andersson (Swe) Team Coop-Hitec Products
39Mie Bjørndal Ottestad (Nor) Uno-X Pro Cycling Women
40Esmée Peperkamp (Ned) Team DSM Women
41Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team DSM Women
42Femke Gerritse (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
43Sylvie Swinkels (Ned) Team Coop-Hitec Products 0:01:03
44Marthe Goossens (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
45Alena Ivanchenko (Rus) UAE Team ADQ
46Francesca Barale (Ita) Team DSM Women 0:01:05
47Margot Pompanon (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
48India Grangier (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente Maritime 0:01:45
49Fien Delbaere (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
50Demi De Jong (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:01:47
51Hannah Barnes (GBr) Uno-X Pro Cycling Women
52Anniina Ahtosalo (Fin) Uno-X Pro Cycling Women 0:04:25
53Josie Knight (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies
54Arianna Pruisscher (Ned) Stade Rochelais Charente Maritime
55Victoire Berteau (Fra) Cofidis Women Team
56Nina Kessler (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
57Karolina Kumiega (Pol) Valcar-Travel & Service
58Ingvild Gåskjenn (Nor) Team Coop-Hitec Products
59Loes Adegeest (Ned) IBCT
60Danique Braam (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport
61Kristyna Burlová (Cze) Lotto Soudal Ladies
62Anastasiya Kolesava (Blr) Stade Rochelais Charente Maritime
63Alice Sharpe (Irl) IBCT
64April Tacey (GBr) Le Col Wahoo
65Coralie Demay (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
66Hannah Ludwig (Ger) Uno-X Pro Cycling Women
67Alison Avoine (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
68Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies
69Gaia Masetti (Ita) NXTG by Experza
70Mari Hole Mohr (Nor) Team Coop-Hitec Products
71Fiona Mertens (Bel)
72Georgia Williams (NZl) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
73Lena Mettraux (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP Nvst-Immo Losch
74Sterre Vervloet (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
75Céline van Houtum (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
76Letizia Paternoster (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women
77Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team Women
78Typhaine Laurance (Fra) Arkea Team
79Cedrine Kerbaol (Fra) Cofidis Women Team
80Greta Richioud (Fra) Arkea Team
81Anna Christian (GBr) Le Col Wahoo
82Urska Zigart (Slo) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
83Pauline Allin (Fra) Arkea Team
84Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
85Teniel Campbell (TTo) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
86Svenja Betz (Ger) IBCT
87Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
88Belle de Gast (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
89Friederike Stern (Ger) Andy Schleck-CP Nvst-Immo Losch
90Alessia Patuelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
91Carlotta Cipressi (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
92Nina Berton (Lux) Andy Schleck-CP Nvst-Immo Losch
93Linda Zanetti (Swi) UAE Team ADQ
94Naomi De Roeck (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport
95Anastasia Carbonari (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
96Barbara Sniezynska (Pol) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport
97Amber Aernouts (Bel) NXTG by Experza
98Elodie Le Bail (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
99Mariia Novolodskaia (Rus) UAE Team ADQ 0:04:35
100Elynor Backstedt (GBr) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:04:42
101Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Trek-Segafredo Women
102Eva Buurman (Ned) Liv Racing Xstra
103Eleanor Wiseman (Bel) 0:04:46
104Barbara Fonseca (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93 0:05:42
105Charlotte Becker (Ger) Arkea Team
106Maud Rijnbeek (Ned) NXTG by Experza 0:05:49
107Hanna Johansson (Swe) 0:10:14
108Leonie Bos (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:10:47
109Kirstie van Haaften (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
110Lise-Marie Henzelin (Swi) 0:18:08
DNFMae Lang (Est)
DNFNora Tveit (Nor) Team Coop-Hitec Products
DNFPernille Larsen Feldmann (Nor) Team Coop-Hitec Products
DNFElla Harris (NZl) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFElise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFSarah Borremans (Bel)
DNFMaud Oudeman (Ned) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFLisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFSarah Roy (Aus) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFMylene de Zoete (Ned) NXTG by Experza
DNFKim Baptista (GBr)
DNFAllison Zava (Bel)
DNFAmelia Sharpe (GBr) NXTG by Experza
DNFElise Uijen (Ned) Team DSM Women
DNFEline Van Rooijen (Ned) NXTG by Experza
DNFLourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa) Movistar Team Women
DNFAinsley Black (Can)
DNFKerry Jonker (RSA) Andy Schleck-CP Nvst-Immo Losch
DNFLouise Jacquemin (Bel)
DNFNathalie Säfsten (Swe)
DNFIda Sten (Fin)
DNFSara Van De Vel (Bel) IBCT
DNFGabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) Cofidis Women Team
DNFMaryanne Hinault (Fra) Arkea Team
DNFMarie Morgane Le Deunff (Fra) Arkea Team
DNFMarion Colard (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente Maritime
DNFSeverine Eraud (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente Maritime
DNFKristina Nenadovic (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente Maritime
DNFJessy Druyts (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
DNFCamille Devigne (Fra) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
DNFMarine Allione (Fra) Stade Rochelais Charente Maritime
DNFGloria Van Mechelen (Bel)
DNFJulie Stockman (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
DNFPerrine Sadoine (Bel)
DNFInes Van De Paar (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFOcéane Goergen (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
DNFMaëlle Grossetete (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNFLisa Müllenberg (Ned) Andy Schleck-CP Nvst-Immo Losch
DNFValentine Fortin (Fra) Cofidis Women Team
DNFGeorgia Baker (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
DNFFabienne Buri (Swi) Andy Schleck-CP Nvst-Immo Losch
DNFJulie Leth (Den) Uno-X Pro Cycling Women
DNFChelsie Tan (Sin) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
DNFElizabeth Bennett (GBr) IBCT
DNFMinke Bakker (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport
DNFLotte Popelier (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport
DNFHaylee Fuller (Aus) IBCT
DNFLucy Mayrhofer (Ger) IBCT
DNSEmilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNSEluned King (GBr) Le Col Wahoo
DNSBarbara Guarischi (Ita) Movistar Team Women
DNSClaire Faber (Lux) Andy Schleck-CP Nvst-Immo Losch
DNSOlha Kulynych (Ukr) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport

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