Anna van der Breggen wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women

World champion Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) secured a solo victory at the 1.Pro Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women on Saturday. Danish national champion Emma Cecile Norsgaard of Movistar took the sprint from the reduced bunch with van der Breggen’s SD Worx teammate, Amy Pieters, rounding off the podium in third.

Race favourite Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) just missed out on third after covering attacks earlier in the race.

"I'm really happy, of course, because it's the best way to start the season," Van der Breggen said in a post-race interview. "Especially when the team is riding like this, it gives a lot of confidence for the upcoming races, and also for the rest of the season."

After the cancellation of earlier races, the women’s peloton finally got their 2021 season underway at the 13th edition of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women for 126km of racing.

It was the 53rd solo win of Van der Breggen's career, after an aggressive final 50km, which saw multiple attacks from her SD Worx teammates. 

Van der Breggen established her gap on the decisive Bosberg climb, Kopecky and Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) were the only riders able to attempt to follow but the double world champion rode away over the top of the climb. 

How it unfolded

On a dry and relatively warm spring day in Flanders it was a return to the SD Worx of old, with the once-unbeatable team again using their strength in numbers to wear down the competition. 

After just 4km, a break of three formed with Elizabeth Bennett (Drops-Le Col), Kylie Waterreus (Multum Accountants LSK Ladies Cycling Team), and Claudia Jongerius (Bingoal Casino - Chevalmeire Cycling Team) getting a gap which at its largest stretched to over five minutes. 

However, with 38km to go SD Worx harnessed their collective strength — including Anna van der Breggen — to bring back the leaders just before the Leberg climb. 

The climb caused splits in the bunch which caught out two pre-race favourites; Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) and Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) as well as Deignan’s teammate Ellen van Dijk. 

After the damage caused by the Leberg, a leading group was established which saw SD Worx, Liv Racing and Jumbo-Visma well represented as well as Canyon-SRAM and Ale BTC City Lubljana with a second chasing group one minute behind. 

As the bunch reached the next climb, the Berendries, it was Demi Vollering of SD Worx driving the pace which saw the winner of the 2020 WorldTour Youth jersey, Liane Lippert, distanced. Anna van der Breggen attacked over the top with Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) on her wheel but both were quickly reeled back to the group. 

With 30km to go, Vollering put in a strong attack on the Elverenberg Vosssenhol, which saw her form a gap which she then sustained. Hannah Barnes (canyon-SRAM), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segaferdo) and Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) tried to force a chase but were soon neutralised by Vollering’s teammates, after which the peloton seemed to sit up, allowing Vollering’s lead to extend to 30 seconds. 

Liv Racing, with Soraya Palladin and Jeanne Korevaar, were the only team willing to take up the chase as SD Worx used their strength in numbers to marshal the bunch and chase down attacks. 

As the bunch approached the Kappelmuur, Vollering’s gap began to come down and Longo Borghini saw her moment to attack, taking Kopecky with her. Unfortunately for the pair, Van der Breggen also followed and the gap was closed. 

Van der Breggen’s efforts failed to stop the group from catching Vollering and the 24-year-old was caught at the bottom of the descent by the reduced group comprised of favourites including Longo Borghini, Kopecky, Niewiadoma, Pieters, and Uttrup Ludwig and Cavalli (both FDJ). 

The world champion then put in an attack of her own with Lotte Kopecky the only rider able to follow, however the two were soon reeled back in. A lull followed during which some of those who were distanced returned to the front group including Lisa Brennauer. 

With 15km to go, Longo Borghini put in another attack with Vollering and Kopecky following. The trio got a small gap on the group however Marlen Ruesser of Ale BTC City Lubjlana rode hard on the front for her teammate Marta Bastianelli to bring the three riders back just before the Bosberg. 

The Bosberg proved to be the decisive climb of the race for the women as van der Breggen chose the steep, cobbled climb to launch the attack which ultimately won her the race. In an impressive show of strength, the double world champion attacked the climb, riding everyone else off her wheel, carrying her move over the top and establishing a gap which stuck to the end. 

Meanwhile, behind van der Breggen the peloton split into two groups again with one minute between them, but with 11km to go the two groups merged. Once again it was Liv Racing taking up the lion’s share of the chasing with Uttrup Ludwig also coming to the front. 

The remaining riders may have hoped that the headwind to the finish might slow van der Breggen down, however with Pieters and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak covering moves it was impossible for anyone to escape the group. 

Grace Brown of Team BikeExchange attempted a flier with 8km to go, which Pieters immediately followed, the two managed a small gap, however the group ultimately came back together to contest a bunch kick for second. 

Emma Norsgaard of Movistar won the sprint and Pieters — after spending the race covering moves — came third. Kopecky narrowly missed the podium having burned most of her matches earlier in the race. 

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Team SD Worx 3:21:00
2Emma Cecilie Jørgensen (Den) Movistar Team Women 0:00:23
3Amy Pieters (Ned) Team SD Worx
4Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing
5Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
6Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
7Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
8Grace Brown (Aus) Team BikeExchange
9Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
10Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:26
11Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) Team SD Worx
12Riejanne Markus (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
13Demi Vollering (Ned) Team SD Worx
14Marlen Reusser (Swi) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
15Amanda Spratt (Aus) Team BikeExchange
16Soraya Paladin (Ita) Liv Racing
17Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
18Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:00:33
19Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:02:22
20Anna Henderson (GBr) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
21Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar Team Women
22Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing
23Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
24Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM Racing
25Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
26Christine Majerus (Lux) Team SD Worx
27Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Liv Racing
28Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Team SD Worx
29Juliette Labous (Fra) Team DSM
30Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
31Jelena Eric (Srb) Movistar Team Women
32Elizabeth Banks (GBr) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team 0:02:27
33Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:40
34Marta Lach (Pol) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team 0:07:03
35Liane Lippert (Ger) Team DSM
36Mischa Bredewold (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:07:07
37Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Women Cycling Sport 0:07:08
38Amber van der Hulst (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:07:13
39Kathrin Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
40Maria Van 'T Geloof (Ned) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
41Maria Martins (Por) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
42Lorena Wiebes (Ned) Team DSM
43Femke Markus (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
44Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies
45Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
46Catalina Anais Soto Campos (Chi) NXTG Racing
47Eva Buurman (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
48Bryony van Velzen (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
49Maike Van der Duin (Ned) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
50Maaike Boogaard (Ned) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
51Eugenia Bujak (Slo) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
52Thalita De Jong (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
53Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing
54Shari Bossuyt (Bel) NXTG Racing
55Marit Raaijmakers (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
56Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
57Laura Tomasi (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
58Stine Borgli (Nor) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
59Gladys Verhulst (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team
60Nicole Steigenga (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
61Fien Van Eynde (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
62Teuntje Beekhuis (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
63Typhaine Laurance (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team
64Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
65Amalie Lutro (Nor) Hitec Products
66Amelia Sharpe (GBr) NXTG Racing
67Nathalie Bex (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
68Pfeiffer Georgi (GBr) Team DSM
69Natalie van Gogh (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
70Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing
71Elizabeth Bennett (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
72Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team DSM
73Lone Meertens (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
74Hanna Nilsson (Swe) Lotto Soudal Ladies
75Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
76Lucie Jounier (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team
77Greta Richioud (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team
78Susanne Andersen (Nor) Team DSM
79Julie Leth (Den) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
80Tanja Erath (Ger) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
81Sara Penton (Swe) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
82Sara Van De Vel (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
83Marijke De Smedt (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
84Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
85Svenja Betz (Ger) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
86Leah Thomas (USA) Movistar Team Women
87Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
88Christina Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
89Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Team BikeExchange
90Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
91Teniel Campbell (TTo) Team BikeExchange
92Caroline Andersson (Swe) Hitec Products
93Romy Kasper (Ger) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
94Evy Kuijpers (Ned) Liv Racing
95Sarah Roy (Aus) Team BikeExchange
96Sarah Rijkes (Aut) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
97Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
98Nina Buijsman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
99Femke Gerritse (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
100Anna Plichta (Pol) Lotto Soudal Ladies
101Mieke Kröger (Ger) Hitec Products
102Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM Racing
103Leah Dixon (GBr) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
104Chloe Hosking (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
105Mavi Garcia (Spa) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
106Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
107Pernille Mathiesen (Den) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
108Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women 0:07:28
109Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Movistar Team Women
110Trixi Worrack (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
111Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo
DNFIlse Pluimers (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFCharlotte Kool (Ned) NXTG Racing
DNFAmber Lacompte (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
DNFIsabelle Beckers (Bel) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
DNFAnn Helen Olsen (Nor) Hitec Products
DNFMia Griffin (Irl) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
DNFDiana Carolina Peñuela Martinez (Col) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFKristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFSilvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
DNFAntonia Gröndahl (Fin) Team Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants
DNFAntri Christoforou (Cyp) Women Cycling Sport
DNFMarieke van Witzenburg (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFDemmy Druyts (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
DNFClaudia Jongerius (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
DNFDemi De Jong (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
DNFEleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
DNFFien Delbaere (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
DNFCéline van Houtum (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
DNFKylie Waterreus (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
DNFAnna Badegruber (Aut) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
DNFChrista Riffel (Ger) Hitec Products
DNFMarie Morgane Le Deunff (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team
DNFJulia Borgström (Swe) NXTG Racing
DNFNicole Hanselmann (Swi) Women Cycling Sport
DNFTereza Neumanová (Cze) Women Cycling Sport
DNFLuciana Roland (Arg) Women Cycling Sport
DNFAlessia Vigilia (Ita) Women Cycling Sport
DNFFinja Smekal (Ger) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
DNFMartine Gjøs (Nor) Hitec Products
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Team BikeExchange
DNFElise Vander Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFLéa Curinier (Fra) Arkea Pro Cycling Team
DNSBrodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope

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