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Van der Breggen wins the first ever Liege-Bastogne-Liege Femmes

Anna van der Breggen made it three for three at the Ardennes classics on Sunday. The Dutchwoman soloed to victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège as she did at Flèche Wallone on Wednesday and Amstel Gold Race last weekend.

Lizzie Deignan secured yet another one-two punch for Boels-Dolmans Cycling team when she outkicked Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Energie) to the line.

"I was aiming to be good this week, but I never expected something like this," said Van der Breggen. "It was an important week. I hoped to win one of them. I think Liege is a beautiful race, so if I could win this one, I'd be really happy but to win three of them. Wow."

It wasn't only Van der Breggen who impressed – although completing the triple is historic. Deignan's results come in spite of the fact she has been battling illness all spring and insists she's still far from her best.

"I have been really surprised this week," said Deignan. "The process I go through to get into top shape, I've missed the last two phases. I suppose this teaches me to have more confidence when things don't go exactly to plan.

"It's been a hard slog fighting through illness at home, being sick all the time," she added. "For me, it's been a really positive week to have good legs and be integrated into the team again. This gives us all a lot of confidence moving ahead."

Then there is Niewiadoma. The 24-year-old rounded out the podium at all three Ardennes races despite a glaring lack of team support in the race finishes.

"I tried my best to get rid of the Boels girls," said Niewiadoma. "Unfortunately it didn't work out. They are both really strong and for sure they showed it from the first Ardennes classic. At the end, I'm kind of happy to get again third – at least podium spot."

How It Happened

A 139-strong peloton lined up in Bastogne to contest the first running of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femme. The inaugural event covered 134 kilometres and featured four significant climbs, including the same finale with the Côtes de La Redoute, Roche-aux-Faucons, and Saint-Nicolas that the men raced.

The peloton remained largely together during the hilly opening hour of racing despite numerous attacks from kilometre zero. Early rollers served to soften legs and shell weaker riders from the back of the bunch.

Aude Biannic (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) gained the first gap with staying power. The Frenchwoman attacked around the 48-kilometre mark and opened up a 20-second advantage quickly. Jeanne Korevaar (WM3 Energie) bridged across to Biannic. The duo had 1:18 when they hit the Côte de la Vecquée. The first climb on the menu was the longest at 6.7 kilometres.

The pace and the gradient up La Vecquée immediately shut down the breakaway and split the peloton. Several riders lost contact with the fractured peloton completely. Two large pelotons had formed with several smaller groups in their wake over the top of La Vecquée.

The first two groups on the road rejoined on the downhill between La Vecquée and La Redoute. Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) attacked on the run-in to La Redoute but proved unable to hold off the peloton as the road rose. Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) led a group of around 40 riders over La Redoute and towards La Roche-aux-Faucons.

Roxane Knetemann (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) launched a solo escape and started the penultimate climbs with an 18-second advantage – an advantage that was quickly bridged by a Boels-Dolmans-led bunch.

As the size of the front group shrunk, Niewiadoma threw down her first missive.

"I said to myself: 'ok, I really need to go full here,'" Niewiadoma explained. "I knew if I didn't go full for sure [Van der Breggen and Deignan] are there, and it will be the same scenario of Amstel and Fleche."

Four riders could follow Niewiadoma's attack: Diegnan, Van der Breggen, Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) and Ashleigh Moolman Paiso (Cérvelo-Bigla). In only three kilometres, the five pocketed 40-seconds over a 12-rider chase group led by Orica-Scott. Boels-Dolmans was the only team with more than one rider in the lead group.

"It was such a tough race, and we had the advantage being two at the front," said Van der Breggen. "Being together with Lizzie is a big advantage because everyone in the group knows if I attack, they have to close it and Lizzie is in the wheel. We can play the game."

They played the game well. As the gap began to fall up the Saint-Nicolas and cooperation waned, Van der Breggen attacked.

"I had a little gap already at the top of Saint Nicolas," said Van der Breggen. "It was over the top, so everyone was at their limit at that point."

It was a similar move to the one that netted her the win at Amstel Gold and Flèche Wallone. While Van der Breggen had every reason to be confident it would produce a similar result in Ans, Deignan's presence in the chase provided further incentive to take a risk.

"I thought I could try it, and if it didn't work, I still had Lizzie behind me," said Van der Breggen. "That's where I had an advantage. Because Lizzie is there, people are more hesitant to react to my attack. They know Lizzie can sprint really well."

Deignan's sprint was not required, not for the win anyway. Van der Breggen rode the final seven kilometres solo. For the third time in eight days, she celebrated across the line alone. 17 seconds later, Deignan bested Niewiadoma for second place.

"This whole week has been really good," said Deignan. "We're all really grateful this has happened. It's an important step for women's cycling. They've done this race properly – a full distance, hard race. I think we showcased what women's cycling is about today. This is the kind of platform we need."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam3:42:17
2Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:00:17
3Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Pro Cycling0:00:19
4Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:00:31
5Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott Women
6Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
7Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
8Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) BePink Cogeas
9Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High50:00:34
10Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:00:41
11Janneke Ensing (Ned) Alé Cipollini0:00:48
12Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:01:33
13Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women
14Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Wiggle High5
15Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Team Sunweb Women
16Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Wiggle High5
17Anouska Koster (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling
18Martina Ritter (Aut) Drops Cycling Team
19Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) Lensworld-Kuota
20Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Hitec Products0:01:37
21Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
22Marie Vilmann (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:01:40
23Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon SRAM Racing0:01:48
24Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products0:02:00
25Margarita Victoria Garcia (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango0:02:03
26Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica Scott Women0:02:24
27Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica Scott Women
28Anna Christian (GBr) Drops Cycling Team
29Roxane Knetemann (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope0:02:37
30Sheyla Gutierrez (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling0:02:46
31Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana0:02:48
32Dani King (GBr) Cylance Pro Cycling
33Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Drops Cycling Team0:02:50
34Eri Yonamine (Jpn) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
35Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:02:53
36Amelie Rivat (Fra) Lares-Waowdeals0:03:32
37Lorena Llamas (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango0:04:06
38Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx0:07:24
39Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
40Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals
41Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Astana Women's Team0:08:00
42Agnieszka Skalniak (Pol) Astana Women's Team
43Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women
44Elise Delzenne (Fra) Lotto Soudal Ladies
45Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling
46Charlotte Bravard (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
47Anna Potokina (Rus) Servetto Giusta
48Camilla Pedersen (Den) Team Veloconcept Women
49Lourdes Oyarbide (Spa) Bizkaia-Durango
50Lara Vieceli (Ita) Astana Women's Team
51Laura Camila Lozano (Col) Servetto Giusta
52Mónika Kiraly (Hun) S.C. Michela Fanini
53Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Alé Cipollini
54Iraida Garcia (Cub) S.C. Michela Fanini
55Stephanie Pohl (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
56Claudia Koster (Ned) Team Veloconcept Women0:08:04
57Victorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
58Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana
59Ursa Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
60Daniela Reis (Por) Lares-Waowdeals0:08:13
61Wubbigje Regina Knol (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling0:08:16
62Alison Jackson (Can) BePink Cogeas0:08:18
63Anna Ceoloni (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini0:08:19
64Soraya Paladin (Ita) Alé Cipollini0:08:26
65Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota0:09:18
66Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
67Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Drops Cycling Team0:09:44
68Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling Team
69Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana
70Kseniya Tuhai (Blr) BePink Cogeas
71Nathalie Verschelden (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota
72Olena Pavlukhina (Aze) Astana Women's Team
73Milagro Mena (Crc) SAS - MACOGEP
74Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon SRAM Racing
75Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle High5
76Jessy Druyts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
77Roos Hoogeboom (Ned) Bizkaia-Durango
78Alice Gasparini (Ita) Servetto Giusta
79Daiva Tuslaite (Ltu) Alé Cipollini
80Francesca Balducci (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini
81Shani Bloch-Davidov (Isr) Team Veloconcept Women
82Allie Dragoo (USA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
83Jenelle Crooks (Aus) Orica Scott Women
84Lauren Kitchen (Aus) WM3 Pro Cycling
85Georgia Williams (Aus) Orica Scott Women
86Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Cylance Pro Cycling
87Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon SRAM Racing
88Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing
89Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica Scott Women
90Charlotte Becker (Ger) Hitec Products
91Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota0:09:48
92Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Drops Cycling Team
93Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota
94Femke Verstichelen (Bel) Servetto Giusta0:09:58
95Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High50:10:17
96Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
97Pauline Allin (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP0:11:48
98Sarah Inghelbrecht (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals0:13:50
DNFTing Ying Huang (Tpe) Servetto Giusta
DNFCecilie Gotaas Johnsen (Nor) Hitec Products
DNFNina Kessler (Ned) Hitec Products
DNFTereza Medvedova (Svk) BePink Cogeas
DNFKatia Ragusa (Ita) BePink Cogeas
DNFIlaria Sanguineti (Ita) BePink Cogeas
DNFThalita De Jong (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals
DNFSaartje Vandenbroucke (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals
DNFNatalie Kerwin (NZl) Team Veloconcept Women
DNFAmber Leone Neben (USA) Team Veloconcept Women
DNFDoris Schweizer (Swi) Team Veloconcept Women
DNFPauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon SRAM Racing
DNFValeriya Kononenko (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini
DNFJutatip Maneephan (Tha) S.C. Michela Fanini (Tha) S.C. Michela Fanini
DNFSoline Lamboley (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP
DNFIris Sachet (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP (Fra) SAS - MACOGEP
DNFValerie Demey (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
DNFFien Delbaere (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
DNFSusanne Andersen (Nor) Hitec Products (Nor) Hitec Products
DNFKseniia Dobrynina (Rus) Servetto Giusta (Rus) Servetto Giusta
DNFSofia Beggin (Ita) Astana Women's Team (Ita) Astana Women's Team
DNFMayuko Hagiwara (Jpn) Wiggle High5 (Jpn) Wiggle High5
DNFJeanne Korevaar (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling
DNFAude Biannic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNFMiho Yoshikawa (Jpn) Bizkaia-Durango (Jpn) Bizkaia-Durango
DNFJuliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb Women (Fra) Team Sunweb Women
DNFRozanne Slik (Ned) Team Sunweb Women (Ned) Team Sunweb Women
DNFCeline Van Severen (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Etixx
DNFMieke Kröger (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing
DNFValentina Scandolara (Ita) WM3 Pro Cycling
DNFCarlee Taylor (Aus) Alé Cipollini
DNFMarta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFKaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-Kuota
DNFJessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFIsabelle Beckers (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFAnnelies Dom (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFChantal Hoffmann (Lux) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFMia Radotic (Cro) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFAnna Zita Maria Stricker (Ita) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Alé Cipollini

UCI Women's WorldTour after Liege-Bastogne-Liege
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott Women469pts
2Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Pro Cycling429
3Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women415
4Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam393
5Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam384
6Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5335
7Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon SRAM Racing265
8Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam240
9Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team175
10Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope170
11Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team166
12Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women155
13Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Wiggle High5150
14Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women133
15Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team130
16Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam120
17Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica Scott Women120
18Janneke Ensing (Ned) Alé Cipollini117
19Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team106
20Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica Scott Women90
21Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling Team75
22Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé Cipollini70
23Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies70
24Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota70
25Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam64
26Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing60
27Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Vaiano58
28Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) BePink Cogeas51
29Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon SRAM Racing51
30Marianne Vos (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling48
31Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Wiggle High548
32Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Wiggle High548
33Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana46
34Flavia Oliveira (Bra) Lares-Waowdeals39
35Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) Lensworld-Kuota36
36Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica Scott Women35
37Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana34
38Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon SRAM Racing32
39Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota28
40Sheyla Gutierrez (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling27
41Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé Cipollini25
42Dani King (GBr) Cylance Pro Cycling24
43Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam22
44Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam20
45Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam18
46Marie Vilmann (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team18
47Sofia Beggin (Ita) Astana Women's Team18
48Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women18
49Anouska Koster (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling16
50Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products14
51Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Team Sunweb Women12
52Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana12
53Lisa Klein (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team12
54Martina Ritter (Aut) Drops Cycling Team6
55Roxane Knetemann (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope6
56Nina Kessler (Ned) Hitec Products6
57Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope4
58Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank4
59Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Hitec Products2
60Eva Buurman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team2
61Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon SRAM Racing2
62Kirsten Wild (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling2

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