Good morning and welcome to live text coverage of the final Spring Classic of 2021, Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes.
It's another early start for the women this morning in Bastogne and it's a chilly one -although the sun is shining 🌞
The peloton will roll out for a neutral start at 08:40 CEST before the flag drops at around 08:50 and then 140.9km of hilly racing awaits!
Two big pieces of news to come from the race this morning.
Firstly, defending champion Lizzie Deignan will not be racing after having a non-Covid-related illness last week. Shirin van Anrooij will replace Deignan on the Trek-Segafredo roster.
Elsewhere, the DSM women will also miss today's race after a positive Covid test within the team. In a statement the team said, "all team members feel well and show no symptoms."
The riders have already started shivering their way to sign on
☀️🥶 It looks sunny here at #LBLwomen’s start in Bastogne, yet it’s misleading - barely above zero!Ⓜ️ @AvVleuten @KatrineAalerud Thomas @paulapb291 @SamartinmartinA @Glo__Rodriguez🏁 Finish around 12.30 / 📺 Eurosport, GCN, TDP (11.25) / 📱 Tweets: @UCI_WWT / @LiegeBastogneL pic.twitter.com/OS2wzWoXQ6April 25, 2021
Five minutes before the riders roll out for the neutral start. If you want to get up to speed with what lies ahead of them then you can do so via our race preview.
Plus, as of yesterday, there's a new way to catch up with the peloton and go behind the scenes of their preparation for some of the biggest races. ICYMI The Run Up Series officially launched yesterday - find out more here.
They're ready to go!
Ready 💪🏻#LBLwomen pic.twitter.com/Nin7VKUFcMApril 25, 2021
More last-minute withdrawals: Ruth Winder of Trek-Segafredo has been forced to sit the race out after she was "deemed a close contact of someone outside of the team bubble who has since tested positive for Coronavirus."
She has returned negative tests but still must isolate under team protocol. Winder was a favourite to win from a reduced bunch today after her winning sprint at Brabantse Pijl and her impressive solo break at La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.
Click here for the full story.
And they're off! The neutral start has been given.
The peloton rolling out for the neutral. The flag will be dropping very soon! 🏁
🚩 C’est parti !!!🚩 We’re off!!#LBLwomen pic.twitter.com/qQUpum5cdUApril 25, 2021
Ruth winder was one of the five riders to watch for this race, which is now down to four.
Continental team Parkhotel Valkenburg were also unable to start this morning due to a Covid positive. The team have not released any statements yet.
🚨 The race is on!#LBLWomen #UCIWWT pic.twitter.com/dHlWuXfIWCApril 25, 2021
Moving on to people who actually are in the race today, Team Tibco-SVB's rider
Eri Yonamine turns 30 today.
Saturday warm-up 👶🏻Sliding into Sunday battle @LiegeBastogneL 💥📸: @ninakessler 👱🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/pSNwM9kY5DApril 24, 2021
We have a break of two, Claire Faber of Andy Schleck - CP NVST - Immo Losch, and Silvia Zanardi of Bepink.
At the last update the leaders had 45 seconds on the peloton.
The gap is 45 seconds and it's Team Tibco on the front but the pace doesn't look too high just yet.
114km to go
The gap is now down to 30 seconds for the two leaders.
🏁 107 km to go:30" left for our 2 early attackers Faber & Zanardi. #UCIWWT #LBLWomen pic.twitter.com/OFZ0lGZ1pwApril 25, 2021
107km to go
The riders won't hit the first climb of the day until, km56.7 and the Côte de Wan - 3.6km at 5.1%.
Speaking of the Côte de Wanne here's a lovely picture from the top of it - not that the riders will get a chance to enjoy the view.
Good morning from the top of Cote de Wanne #LBLWomen pic.twitter.com/AyajvIEEILApril 25, 2021
With an hour's racing done the peloton are fast approaching the first of the seven climbs of the day.
100km to go
This is the eighth round of the 2021 Women's World Tour. The next round will be the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas from 20th-23rd May.
1'30" for the two leaders now
98km to go
🚴♀️🚴♀️ < 1’30’’ < 🚴♀️🚴♀️🚴♀️🚴♀️🚴♀️🚴♀️🇱🇺 @FaberClaire et 🇮🇹 Silvia Zanardi ont creusé l’écart avec le peloton. ⏱🇱🇺 @FaberClaire and 🇮🇹 Silvia Zanardi increased their lead over the pack. ⏱#LBLwomen pic.twitter.com/Jlh46EbG1fApril 25, 2021
The peloton are spread out across the road and don't look too concerned by the widening gap to the two leaders at the moment.
#LBLwomen 🇧🇪The first hour of racing is in the books and we're heading towards the first of the 7 climbs on the course ⛰Currently 2 riders have a round 1'30" on the peloton ⏱ pic.twitter.com/XplSOPHn6pApril 25, 2021
🚴♀️ Le peloton en route pour Liège. 🚴♀️ On their way to Liège. #LBLwomen pic.twitter.com/epZSNhu89iApril 25, 2021
The peloton are approaching the first climb and the two leaders now have a gap of 3 minutes
90km to go
Here is what Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of FDJ Nouvelle Aquitane Futuroscope had to say before the race
🎥 She was very disappointed with 8th place at Fleche Wallonne on Wednesday, but now is looking forward to a 🌞 #LBLWomen with a smile: Let's hear from @CUttrupLudwig! #UCIWWT pic.twitter.com/fg6h3jAaXmApril 25, 2021
At the top of the Côte de Wanne the race situation has been shaken up: Claire Faber crested the top of the climb alone with Silvia Zanardi 10 seconds behind. Now, a chase group of counter-attackers are hot on their heels led by Elise Chabbey of Canyon//SRAM who lit up the race at La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday 🔥
84km to go
Can't believe how long Claire Faber has been off the front for without me posting this
A post shared by Faber Claire (@fabesch) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
The peloton on the Côte de Wanne. Next up is the Côte de la Haute Levee which starts off very steep, the average gradient is 7.5% for 2.2km
#LBLwomen 2 riders are away, and the peloton led by Liv Racing climbs Côte de Wanne after 56km of racing. #UCIWWT @UCI_WWT @LiegeBastogneL pic.twitter.com/z8Icf1keU9April 25, 2021
83km to go
The two riders are still out in front but their move is almost certainly set to be reeled back as the climbs come thick and fast.
Climb #2 of the day, Côte de la Haute, is done and the gap for the two leaders is now down to around 30 seconds back to a steadily-reducing bunch.
68km to go
There is a climb roughly every 10km now, next up is the Col du Rosier with 61km to go followed by the Côte de Desnié with 48.3km to go. Then comes the decisive climb of the race, the Col de La Redoute (2km at 8.9%) with 35.2km to go.
It won't be long before live tv coverage of the race starts. Find out how to watch where you are.
After the Col du Rosier Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx), Tayler Wiles (Trek-Segafredo), Lucy Kennedy (Team BikeExchange), Anouska Koster (Jumbo-Visma), Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM), Leah Thomas (Movistar), and Brodie Chapman (FDJ) have 12 seconds
Liv Racing, who have missed out on the move are chasing.
58km to go
The previous group of seven have been caught and now it's Niamh Fisher-Black who is the lone leader with a small gap
46.2km to go
Chantal van den Broek Blaak and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio are controlling the front of the peloton for SD Worx
Fisher Black has 26 seconds on the peloton. Ale BTC City Ljubjlana and Movistar are on the front
41.5km to go
Fisher-Black's lead is now already down to just 6 seconds
The Côte de La Redoute is close now!
38.4km to go
Fisher Black has now been caught as they start the climb
Leah Thomas of Movistar makes a move and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio of SD Worx quickly follows and goes over the top of her with Marta Cavalli of FDJ, the three have a gap
Having missed the move here Trek Segafredo are going to chase hard for Elisa Longo Borghini
Moolman Pasio has dropped Thomas and Cavalli and is now away solo
36km to go
Kristen Faulkner of Tibco-SVB is leading the peloton with 500m of the climb to go
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig makes a move now to try and bridge to Moolman Pasio
Elisa Longo Borghini, Anna van der Breggen, Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi vollering, Mavi Garcia, Kasia Niewiadoma, Kristen Faulkner, and Marianne Vos now come across to Moolman Pasio as they crest the top of the climb.
Lucinda Brand has bridged up to Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio. Marianne Vos tried to go but Anna van der Breggen closed her down.
Marianne Vos has managed to get away from the small chasing group and is on her way to bridge up to the front group of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and Lucinda Brand.
33.9km to go
The three leaders now have 15 seconds. Marianne Vos did not make it across and is now back in the main group.
It's Leah Thomas of Movistar on the front as the gap goes out to 26 seconds.
Canyon//SRAM are now working with Movistar to try and pull the lead group back. The gap is 20 seconds.
30.4km to go
A post shared by Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (@ashleighcycling) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
The gap is now down to 15 seconds as the pace picks up behind with Canyon//SRAM and Jumbo Visma chasing
27km to go
The race is approaching the penultimate climb of the day, the Côte des Foges (1.3km at 7.8%)
The gap is now down to just 13 seconds for the three leaders
24.9km to go
On the Côte des Forges and the gap has gone out for the three leaders to 22 seconds. Leah Thomas of Movistar is leading the chase.
Riejanne Markus of Jumbo-Visma takes up the chase but the gap has once again gone out and now sits at 31 seconds.
23km to go
Alena Amialusik of Canyon//SRAM now leads the chase with Anna Henderson of Jumbo-Visma
21.4km to go
The collaboration of the front group is unravelling as Brand and Moolman Pasio seem to have been ordered not to pull through.
The gap is now down to just 12 seconds
20km to go
The three have now been caught
With just one climb left to go it's Elise Chabbey of Canyon//SRAM and Anna Henderson of Jumbo-Visma on the front
18km to go
After the descent the peloton are approaching the final climb of Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons - who will make a last-ditch move?
15.6km to go
Chantal Blaak is bringing Anna van der Breggen up to the front for SD Worx
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is right on van der Breggen's wheel
Anna van der Breggen goes with Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Kasia Niewiadoma close behind but the group are still all together.
A split has formed with van der Breggen,Vos, Van Vleuten, Vollering, Longo Borghini, Niewiadoma,
Kasia Niewiadoma is putting in a huge effort on the front now that's put Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marianne Vos under pressure
13km to go
Over the top of the climb and it's Demi Vollering, Anna van der Breggen, Kasia Niewiadoma, and Elisa Longo Borhini who go clear
Marianne Vos and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig are chasing hard to get back up to the front group
12km to go
Vos and Uttrup Ludwig have reached the front group
11.6km to go
SD Worx have the most numbers in this front group and look to be riding for Demi Vollering, but if Marianne Vos can recover she looks like the all-out favourite to win a sprint from this group.
Annemiek van Vleuten attacks but Anna van der Breggen is straight on her wheel
Anna van der Breggen, Elisa Longo Borghini, Annemiek van Vleuten, Kasia Niewiadoma, and Demi Vollering go clear together on the last rise before the finish as Marianne Vos, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio are distanced
10.5km to go
Anna van der Breggen is pulling the front group and looks to be working for Demi Vollering who is the fasted finisher out of the five
10.2km to go
As we enter the final 8km of the race it looks like the finish will be contested between the five riders in the front group as Vos and Uttrup Ludwig struggle to try and bridge up to the leaders with Ashleigh Moolman Pasio unwilling to work due to her teammates Vollering and van der Breggen in front.
8.3km to go
30 seconds is the gap back to Vos, Uttrup Ludwig and Moolman Pasio.
The gap between Vos, Uttrup Ludwig and Moolman Pasio and the front five is now 40 seconds. Anna van der Breggen is still riding hard on the front
4.2km to go
Anna van der Breggen continues to work for Demi Vollering as they enter the final, flat kilometre of the race, can she finish the job?
1.2km to go
Van der Breggen is keeping the pace high as they go under the flamme rouge
The sprint is on!
Demi Vollering of SD Worx takes her first World Tour victory!
View the race report here. More to come!
Demi Vollering, crying with joy at winning her first WWT race:
"Amazing, Anna did such a good job and the whole team today and that I can finish it, that's awesome." "I'm really grateful that they did that for me and it's such an amazing team so thanks to the whole team."
"it was really hard on the climbs and at one moment we were gone with this group which we finished with, then first Vos came back but it's better to not sprint with her of course so I was really happy that we broke again. Anna did a lead-out I think the last 10km or something so it was awesome."
"This is a race I really like and two years ago I was third here and that was my first pro year and that I'm already first that I've won this race and it's a dream come true"
"I'm really happy."
One last #dogwatts for the classics season
A post shared by ⋆D E M I V O L L E R I N G⋆ (@demivollering) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
ICYMI view the race report here.
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