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World champion Armitstead wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women

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World champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmnans) wins 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

World champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmnans) wins 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) steps onto the podium

Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) steps onto the podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) with her winners trophy

Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) with her winners trophy (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tiff Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) celebrates her third place

Tiff Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) celebrates her third place (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Second place went to Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans)

Second place went to Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) celebrates her first win in the rainbow jersey

Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) celebrates her first win in the rainbow jersey (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Shelly Olds, left, comes home in 5th place

Shelly Olds, left, comes home in 5th place (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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US champion Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) crosses the line

US champion Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) crosses the line (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tiffany Cromwell crest the climb - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Tiffany Cromwell crest the climb - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Lucinda Brand leads the race to the top of Paterberg - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Lucinda Brand leads the race to the top of Paterberg - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Lizzie Armitstead well positioned at the top of Paterberg - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Lizzie Armitstead well positioned at the top of Paterberg - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Jessie Daams makes a solo move - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Jessie Daams makes a solo move - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Peloton aren't far behind race leader Jessie Daams - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Peloton aren't far behind race leader Jessie Daams - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Lizzie Armitstead and Gracie Elvin go wheel to wheel on Molenberg - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Lizzie Armitstead and Gracie Elvin go wheel to wheel on Molenberg - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Racing through the dusty Flanders countryside - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Racing through the dusty Flanders countryside - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) wins 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) wins 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Alena Amialiusik on the front as the race rolls out of Ghent - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Alena Amialiusik on the front as the race rolls out of Ghent - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Scouts come out to show their support - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Scouts come out to show their support - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Fans queue up for gifts to remember the day - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Fans queue up for gifts to remember the day - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Catching up with old friends, Tayler Wiles and Joëlle Numainville - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Catching up with old friends, Tayler Wiles and Joëlle Numainville - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Nikki Harris prepares to make her road debut for Boels Dolmans - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Nikki Harris prepares to make her road debut for Boels Dolmans - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Giorgia Bronzini talks team tactics ahead of the start - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Giorgia Bronzini talks team tactics ahead of the start - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Time to apply the embrocation in the chilly conditions - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Time to apply the embrocation in the chilly conditions - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Early crash for Rachel Barberi (Cylance) and Tina Rasch Hansen (BMS Birn) - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Early crash for Rachel Barberi (Cylance) and Tina Rasch Hansen (BMS Birn) - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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A little podium fizz - Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) wins 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

A little podium fizz - Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) wins 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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World champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmnans) wins 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

World champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmnans) wins 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon//SRAM) celebrates her third place finish in Gent - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women

Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon//SRAM) celebrates her third place finish in Gent - 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad - Elite Women (Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)

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

#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-SRAM
4Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Liv-Plantur
5Shelley Olds (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling
6Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
7Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle High5
8Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies
9Carmen Small (USA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
10Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle High5
11Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-AIS
12Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur
13Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
14Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM
15Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5
16Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
17Romy Kasper (Ger) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
18Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle High5
19Joelle Numainville (Can) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
20Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
21Nikki Harris (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team
22Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon-SRAM
23Elizabeth Williams (Aus) Orica-AIS
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 Products
29Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé Cipollini
30Monique Van De Ree (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
31Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Team BMS Birn
32Rozanne Slik (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur
33Kelly Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
34Lauren Stephens (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
35Jip Van Den Bos (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
36Annelies Dom (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata
37Emily Collins (NZl) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
38Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
39Kaat Van Der Meulen (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata
40Aurore Verhoeven (Fra) Lointek
41Iris Slappendel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Women
42Jessie Daams (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
43Shara Gillow (Aus) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
44Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
45Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Alé Cipollini
46Lex Albrecht (Can) Bepink
47Eider Merino Kortazar (Spa) Lointek
48Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Lithuania
49Valerie Demey (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
50Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling
51Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products
52Brianna Walle (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
53Ilona Hoeksma (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
54Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica-AIS
55Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata
56Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Alé Cipollini
57Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Alé Cipollini
58Willeke Knol (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies
59Julie Leth (Den) Hitec Products
60Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High5
61Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS
62Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM
63Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon-SRAM
64Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
65Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
66Julia Soek (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur0:08:56
67Flavia Oliveira (Bra) Lensworld-Zannata
68Mayuko Hagiwara (Jpn) Wiggle High5
69Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling
70Céline Van Severen (Bel) Wielerclub De Sprinters Malderen
71Chanella Stougje (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
72Alice Barnes (GBr) Great Britain
73Coralie Demay (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
74Pernille Mathiesen (Den) Team BMS Birn
75Annie Ewart (Can) UnitedHealthcare Women
76Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Bepink
77Lauren Hall (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
78Coryn Rivera (USA) UnitedHealthcare Women
79Nathalie Verschelden (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling Team0:11:34
80Saartje Vandenbroucke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
81Claudia Koster (Ned) GRC Jan Van Arckel
82Liisi Rist (Est) Keukens Redant Cycling Team
83Kylie Waterreus (Ned) Maaslandster Nicheliving
84Marjolein Van 'T Geloof (Ned) GRC Jan van Arckel
85Chloe Fraser (GBr) Lointek
86Daniela Gass (Ger) De Sprinters Malderen
87Jermaine Post (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
88Natalie Van Gogh (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
89Laura Gorter (Ned) WV Breda
90Diana Peñuela (Col) UnitedHealthcare Women
91Dorleta Eskamendi Gil (Spa) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
92Christina Siggaard (Den) Team BMS Birn
93Kseniya Tuhai (Blr) Bepink
94Lierni Lekuona Etxebeste (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
95Janicke Gunvaldsen (Nor) Hitec Products
96Marie Vilmann (Den) Team BMS Birn
97Carlee Taylor (Aus) Team Liv-Plantur
98Alba Teruel Ribes (Spa) Lointek
99Lenore Pipes (Gum) Bepink
100Roos Hoogeboom (Ned) Bizkaia - Durango
101Winanda Spoor (Ned) Lensworld-Zannata
102Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
103Dana Rožlapa (Lat) Keukens Redant Cycling Team
104Lotte Van Hoek (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
105Demmy Druyts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
106Simona Bortolotti (Ita) Bepink
107Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
108Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
109Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Canyon-SRAM
110Cristina Martinez (Spa) Lointek
111Anna Ramirez Bauxel (Spa) Lointek
112Evy Kuijpers (Ned) GRC Jan van Arckel0:11:38
DNFKatarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
DNFTayler Wiles (USA) Orica-AIS
DNFGabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Swi) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
DNFClara Koppenburg (Ger) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
DNFThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products
DNFValentina Scandolara (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFRachele Barbieri (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFHayley Simmonds (GBr) UnitedHealthcare Women
DNFKatie Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Women
DNFKendall Ryan (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFRiejanne Markus (Ned) Team Liv-Plantur
DNFMartina Alzini (Ita) Alé Cipollini
DNFDalia Muccioli (Ita) Alé Cipollini
DNFTereza Medvedova (Svk) Bepink
DNFRoxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFAnabelle Dreville (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFEugénie Duval (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFCharlotte Bravard (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFVictorie Guilman (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86
DNFJanneke Ensing (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team
DNFKim De Baat (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata
DNFGilke Croket (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Etixx-Guill D'or
DNFCoral Casado Ortiz (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFIrati Idirin Egana (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFPaula Lanz Blazquez (Spa) Bizkaia - Durango
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
DNFSara Penton (Swe) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team
DNFCamilla Møllebro (Den) Team BMS Birn
DNFTine Rasch Hansen (Den) Team BMS Birn
DNFEvie Richards (GBr) Great Britain
DNFManon Lloyd (GBr) Great Britain
DNFAbigail Dentus (GBr) Great Britain
DNFEmily Kay (GBr) Great Britain
DNFJustina Jovaišyte (Ltu) Lithuania
DNFSilvija Latozaite (Ltu) Lithuania
DNFEdita Janeliunaite (Ltu) Lithuania
DNFFiona Dutriaux (Fra) Autoglass Wetteren-Group Solar
DNFAnnick Dircx (Bel) Autoglass Wetteren-Group Solar
DNFSarah Borremans (Bel) Autoglass Wetteren-Group Solar
DNFMelanie Wotsch (Ger) Autoglass Wetteren-Group Solar
DNFMarieke Blomme (Bel) Autoglass Wetteren-Group Solar
DNFKatleen Jacobs (Bel) De Sprinters Malderen
DNFLaurence Thill (Lux) De Sprinters Malderen
DNFKathleen Sterckx (Bel) De Sprinters Malderen
DNFSanne Bamelis (Bel) De Sprinters Malderen
DNFIne Allaert (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling Team
DNFEva Van Den Born (Ned) Keukens Redant Cycling Team
DNFBrenda Goessens (Bel) Keukens Redant Cycling Team
DNFKato Zegers (Bel) Isorex Cycling Team
DNFClaire Thomas (GBr) Isorex Cycling Team
DNFLaura Vainionpää (Fin) Isorex Cycling Team
DNFGenevieve Whitson (GBr) Isorex Cycling Team
DNFMieke Leeman (Bel) Isorex Cycling Team
DNFJasmien De Boeck (Bel) Isorex Cycling Team
DNFMathilde Matthysse (Ned) Jos Feron Lady Force
DNFCelesta Op Den Brouw (Ned) Jos Feron Lady Force
DNFNatasja Nieuwenhuizen (Ned) Jos Feron Lady Force
DNFFatima Berton (Bel) Jos Feron Lady Force
DNFAnneloes Stoelwinder (Ned) Jos Feron Lady Force
DNFChantal Verstraten (Ned) Jos Feron Lady Force
DNFKim Van Dijk (Ned) GRC Jan van Arckel
DNFSylvie Boermans (Ned) GRC Jan van Arckel
DNFJarna De Jong (Ned) GRC Jan van Arckel
DNFFemke Van Kessel (Ned) WV Breda
DNFSanne Van Helmond (Ned) WV Breda
DNFLinda Ringlever (Ned) WV Breda
DNFKirsten Howard (Aus) Maaslandster Nicheliving
DNFErin Kinnealy (Aus) Maaslandster Nicheliving
DNFAngela Smith (Aus) Maaslandster Nicheliving
DNFSara Verhaest (Bel) Maaslandster Nicheliving
DNFElissa Wundersitz (Aus) Maaslandster Nicheliving
DNFRobin Driehuis (Ned) WV De Jonge Renner
DNFKim Lahaije (Ned) WV De Jonge Renner
DNFYmke Stegink (Ned) WV De Jonge Renner
DNFAnne Posthuma (Ned) WV De Jonge Renner
DNFDanique Spekle (Ned) WV De Jonge Renner
DNFCharlotte Peeters (Ned) WV De Jonge Renner

 

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