World champion Armitstead wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women

Lizzie Armitstead won the women’s European season opener at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. The world champion soloed across the line in Gent, celebrating the victory in her rainbow jersey debut. Armitstead’s win marks the first time a world champion has graced the top step of the podium at the Belgian Classic.

Chantal Blaak delivered a one-two for Boels-Dolmans as she bested Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) in the reduced bunch sprint. The 22-rider chase group finished 29 seconds behind Armitstead.

“That wasn’t the plan,” a breathless Armitstead told Cyclingnews moments after her solo effort. “That wasn’t the plan at all. When I was away I was almost hoping they would catch me. I was out there way too long.”

Armitstead found herself in what she called “an accidental breakaway” when she lifted the pace with 20 kilometres remaining.

“It wasn’t an attack,” Armitstead insisted. “It was people messing around and watching each other and not watching me, which never happens, so that was really cool.

“I went to the front of the group and accelerated and somehow ended up on my own.”

Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS) made it a two-rider move. The duo stretched out their advantage to 45 seconds but Elvin wasn’t sharing in the work.

“It was really frustrating to me,” Armitstead said. “I thought, well, we still have the numbers to play behind, so I’m not working if you’re not working. We stopped completely in the road and looked really stupid. But there was a slight drag in the road. I attacked Gracie, and I never looked back."

Behind Armitstead, the chase was disorganised. Rabo-Liv and Wiggle High5 eventually collaborated on the front, but their efforts weren’t enough to close the gap.

“People hesitated a bit,” noted Blaak, who was in the chase group when Armitstead went away. “Wiggle and Rabo started riding. They kept Lizzie at a certain distance but they couldn’t close it completely. We were waiting because we know when it comes back, we might need to attack again.”

Future attacks proved unnecessary. Armitstead maintained her advantage all the way to the line. The world champion fielded questions about the ‘curse of the rainbow jersey’ all winter. Her win on Saturday was a powerful response.

“I was number 13 today as well,” Armitstead said. “That shows how much I believe in those things. Yeah. I think World Champions aren’t lucky. You work hard and you don’t suddenly stop working next winter because you’re world champion. It gives me extra motivation more than anything.”

How it happened

Nearly 200 riders set out under sunny skies for 123-kilometre race that is widely regarded as the start of the Classics season. Typically Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a two-act affair for the women. A nervous but inactive first half gives way for non-stop attacks over the climbs and cobbles that feature in the second half of the race.

“The plan today was to make the race selective after the Cote de Trie – the first difficult climb,” explained Armitstead. “That worked but then there was a lot of headwind and it all came back together.”

Jessie Daams (Lotto Soudal Ladies) slipped away from the peloton for a short-lived solo effort. The lone leader gained a maximum advantage of 30 seconds over the peloton heading into the Wolvenberg. Forty kilometres from the finish, the peloton overtook Daams and the action began in earnest.

“Over the Molenerg, we made it hard again, and Ellen [van Dijk] went away,” Armitstead said. “That opened the race again. We caught her on the [Paddestraat] cobbles. Anna van der Breggen was really strong there but so were we.”

Romy Kasper (Boels-Dolmans) led a trio of riders, part of a fragmented reduced bunch, just beyond the Paddestraat. Ten kilometres later, Armitstead and Elvin went up the road. It would prove the race’s decisive moment.

“I’m really happy,” Armitstead said. “It’s always nice to start a season with a win. It makes the rest of the wins easier. The morale in the team is high right now. We’re in a really good place. I’m really proud of how the team road today. I think this is only the start.”

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team3:23:05
2Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:00:29
3Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAMRow 2 - Cell 2
4Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Liv-PlanturRow 3 - Cell 2
5Shelley Olds (USA) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle High5Row 6 - Cell 2
8Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 7 - Cell 2
9Carmen Small (USA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle High5Row 9 - Cell 2
11Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AISRow 10 - Cell 2
12Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-PlanturRow 11 - Cell 2
13Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAMRow 13 - Cell 2
15Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5Row 14 - Cell 2
16Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle High5Row 17 - Cell 2
19Joelle Numainville (Can) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Nikki Harris (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon-SRAMRow 21 - Cell 2
23Elizabeth Williams (Aus) Orica-AISRow 22 - Cell 2
24Claudia Häusler (Ger) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:00:36
25Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS0:00:38
26Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:03:32
27Anouska Koster (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:04:09
28Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec ProductsRow 27 - Cell 2
29Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 28 - Cell 2
30Monique Van De Ree (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Team BMS BirnRow 30 - Cell 2
32Rozanne Slik (Ned) Team Liv-PlanturRow 31 - Cell 2
33Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'orRow 32 - Cell 2
34Lauren Stephens (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley BankRow 33 - Cell 2
35Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Annelies Dom (Bel) Lensworld-ZannataRow 35 - Cell 2
37Emily Collins (NZl) Tibco-Silicon Valley BankRow 36 - Cell 2
38Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 37 - Cell 2
39Kaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lensworld-ZannataRow 38 - Cell 2
40Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) LointekRow 39 - Cell 2
41Iris Slappendel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare WomenRow 40 - Cell 2
42Jessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 41 - Cell 2
43Shara Gillow (Aus) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'orRow 43 - Cell 2
45Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Alé CipolliniRow 44 - Cell 2
46Lex Albrecht (Can) BepinkRow 45 - Cell 2
47Eider Merino Kortazar (Spa) LointekRow 46 - Cell 2
48Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) LithuaniaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Valerie Demey (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'orRow 48 - Cell 2
50Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 49 - Cell 2
51Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 50 - Cell 2
52Brianna Walle (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley BankRow 51 - Cell 2
53Ilona Hoeksma (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica-AISRow 53 - Cell 2
55Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-ZannataRow 54 - Cell 2
56Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 55 - Cell 2
57Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Alé CipolliniRow 56 - Cell 2
58Willeke Knol (Ned) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 57 - Cell 2
59Julie Leth (Den) Hitec ProductsRow 58 - Cell 2
60Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High5Row 59 - Cell 2
61Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AISRow 60 - Cell 2
62Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAMRow 61 - Cell 2
63Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon-SRAMRow 62 - Cell 2
64Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 63 - Cell 2
65Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 64 - Cell 2
66Julia Soek (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur0:08:56
67Flavia Oliveira (Bra) Lensworld-ZannataRow 66 - Cell 2
68Mayuko Hagiwara (Jpn) Wiggle High5Row 67 - Cell 2
69Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (USA) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 68 - Cell 2
70Céline Van Severen (Bel) Wielerclub De Sprinters MalderenRow 69 - Cell 2
71Chanella Stougje (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Alice Barnes (GBr) Great BritainRow 71 - Cell 2
73Coralie Demay (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86Row 72 - Cell 2
74Pernille Mathiesen (Den) Team BMS BirnRow 73 - Cell 2
75Annie Ewart (Can) UnitedHealthcare WomenRow 74 - Cell 2
76Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) BepinkRow 75 - Cell 2
77Lauren Hall (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley BankRow 76 - Cell 2
78Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare WomenRow 77 - Cell 2
79Nathalie Verschelden (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling Team0:11:34
80Saartje Vandenbroucke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'orRow 79 - Cell 2
81Claudia Koster (Ned) GRC Jan Van ArckelRow 80 - Cell 2
82Liisi Rist (Est) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Kylie Waterreus (Ned) Maaslandster NichelivingRow 82 - Cell 2
84Marjolein Van 'T Geloof (Ned) GRC Jan van ArckelRow 83 - Cell 2
85Chloe Fraser (GBr) LointekRow 84 - Cell 2
86Daniela Gass (Ger) De Sprinters MalderenRow 85 - Cell 2
87Jermaine Post (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Laura Gorter (Ned) WV BredaRow 88 - Cell 2
90Diana Peñuela (Col) UnitedHealthcare WomenRow 89 - Cell 2
91Dorleta Eskamendi Gil (Spa) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Christina Siggaard (Den) Team BMS BirnRow 91 - Cell 2
93Kseniya Tuhai (Blr) BepinkRow 92 - Cell 2
94Lierni Lekuona Etxebeste (Spa) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 93 - Cell 2
95Janicke Gunvaldsen (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 94 - Cell 2
96Marie Vilmann (Den) Team BMS BirnRow 95 - Cell 2
97Carlee Taylor (Aus) Team Liv-PlanturRow 96 - Cell 2
98Alba Teruel Ribes (Spa) LointekRow 97 - Cell 2
99Lenore Pipes (Gum) BepinkRow 98 - Cell 2
100Roos Hoogeboom (Ned) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 99 - Cell 2
101Winanda Spoor (Ned) Lensworld-ZannataRow 100 - Cell 2
102Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Dana Rožlapa (Lat) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
104Lotte Van Hoek (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling TeamRow 103 - Cell 2
105Demmy Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'orRow 104 - Cell 2
106Simona Bortolotti (Ita) BepinkRow 105 - Cell 2
107Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 106 - Cell 2
108Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
109Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Canyon-SRAMRow 108 - Cell 2
110Cristina Martinez (Spa) LointekRow 109 - Cell 2
111Anna Ramirez Bauxel (Spa) LointekRow 110 - Cell 2
112Evy Kuijpers (Ned) GRC Jan van Arckel0:11:38
DNFKatarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFTayler Wiles (USA) Orica-AISRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFGabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Swi) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFClara Koppenburg (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling TeamRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec ProductsRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFValentina Scandolara (Ita) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFRachele Barbieri (Ita) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFHayley Simmonds (GBr) UnitedHealthcare WomenRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFKatie Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare WomenRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFKendall Ryan (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley BankRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFRiejanne Markus (Ned) Team Liv-PlanturRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFMartina Alzini (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFDalia Muccioli (Ita) Alé CipolliniRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFTereza Medvedova (Svk) BepinkRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFRoxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86Row 127 - Cell 2
DNFAnabelle Dreville (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86Row 128 - Cell 2
DNFEugénie Duval (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86Row 129 - Cell 2
DNFCharlotte Bravard (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86Row 130 - Cell 2
DNFVictorie Guilman (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86Row 131 - Cell 2
DNFJanneke Ensing (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental TeamRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFKim De Baat (Bel) Lensworld-ZannataRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFGilke Croket (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'orRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFCoral Casado Ortiz (Spa) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFIrati Idirin Egana (Spa) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFPaula Lanz Blazquez (Spa) Bizkaia - DurangoRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling TeamRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFSara Penton (Swe) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling TeamRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFCamilla Møllebro (Den) Team BMS BirnRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFTine Rasch Hansen (Den) Team BMS BirnRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFEvie Richards (GBr) Great BritainRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFManon Lloyd (GBr) Great BritainRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFAbigail Dentus (GBr) Great BritainRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFEmily Kay (GBr) Great BritainRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFJustina Jovaišyte (Ltu) LithuaniaRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFSilvija Latozaite (Ltu) LithuaniaRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFEdita Janeliunaite (Ltu) LithuaniaRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFFiona Dutriaux (Fra) Autoglass Wetteren-Group SolarRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFAnnick Dircx (Bel) Autoglass Wetteren-Group SolarRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFSarah Borremans (Bel) Autoglass Wetteren-Group SolarRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFMelanie Wotsch (Ger) Autoglass Wetteren-Group SolarRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFMarieke Blomme (Bel) Autoglass Wetteren-Group SolarRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFKatleen Jacobs (Bel) De Sprinters MalderenRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFLaurence Thill (Lux) De Sprinters MalderenRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFKathleen Sterckx (Bel) De Sprinters MalderenRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFSanne Bamelis (Bel) De Sprinters MalderenRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFIne Allaert (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFEva Van Den Born (Ned) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFBrenda Goessens (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling TeamRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFKato Zegers (Bel) Isorex Cycling TeamRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFClaire Thomas (GBr) Isorex Cycling TeamRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFLaura Vainionpää (Fin) Isorex Cycling TeamRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFGenevieve Whitson (GBr) Isorex Cycling TeamRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFMieke Leeman (Bel) Isorex Cycling TeamRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFJasmien De Boeck (Bel) Isorex Cycling TeamRow 166 - Cell 2
DNFMathilde Matthysse (Ned) Jos Feron Lady ForceRow 167 - Cell 2
DNFCelesta Op Den Brouw (Ned) Jos Feron Lady ForceRow 168 - Cell 2
DNFNatasja Nieuwenhuizen (Ned) Jos Feron Lady ForceRow 169 - Cell 2
DNFFatima Berton (Bel) Jos Feron Lady ForceRow 170 - Cell 2
DNFAnneloes Stoelwinder (Ned) Jos Feron Lady ForceRow 171 - Cell 2
DNFChantal Verstraten (Ned) Jos Feron Lady ForceRow 172 - Cell 2
DNFKim Van Dijk (Ned) GRC Jan van ArckelRow 173 - Cell 2
DNFSylvie Boermans (Ned) GRC Jan van ArckelRow 174 - Cell 2
DNFJarna De Jong (Ned) GRC Jan van ArckelRow 175 - Cell 2
DNFFemke Van Kessel (Ned) WV BredaRow 176 - Cell 2
DNFSanne Van Helmond (Ned) WV BredaRow 177 - Cell 2
DNFLinda Ringlever (Ned) WV BredaRow 178 - Cell 2
DNFKirsten Howard (Aus) Maaslandster NichelivingRow 179 - Cell 2
DNFErin Kinnealy (Aus) Maaslandster NichelivingRow 180 - Cell 2
DNFAngela Smith (Aus) Maaslandster NichelivingRow 181 - Cell 2
DNFSara Verhaest (Bel) Maaslandster NichelivingRow 182 - Cell 2
DNFElissa Wundersitz (Aus) Maaslandster NichelivingRow 183 - Cell 2
DNFRobin Driehuis (Ned) WV De Jonge RennerRow 184 - Cell 2
DNFKim Lahaije (Ned) WV De Jonge RennerRow 185 - Cell 2
DNFYmke Stegink (Ned) WV De Jonge RennerRow 186 - Cell 2
DNFAnne Posthuma (Ned) WV De Jonge RennerRow 187 - Cell 2
DNFDanique Spekle (Ned) WV De Jonge RennerRow 188 - Cell 2
DNFCharlotte Peeters (Ned) WV De Jonge RennerRow 189 - Cell 2

 

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