Judith Arndt wins 2012 Women's Tour of Flanders

Judith Arndt became the first rider to win on the new look Ronde Van Vlaanderen course by outsprinting Kristin Armstrong. The pair powered away on the Oude Kwaremont 30 kilometres from Oudenaarde finish and left Canadian rider Joelle Numainville to take the group sprint for third.

The one-two result was an identical finish to the ladies' Ronde in 2008, when Arndt (GreenEdge) again edged out Armstrong who was back in Europe at the head of an American team.

"It had a good end for me," Arndt said modestly afterwards. "I was looking forward to the last 20kms – I like it better than the old course. It's kind of strange that it was exactly the same result as four years ago." She added.

The race lacked the presence Dutch champion Marianne Vos who pulled out on the eve of the race through illness, but the hundreds of thousands who lined Belgium's most famous race didn't care and gave vocal support to the 127km event.

The race came to the boil as the peloton hit the cobbles on the Paadestraat section under the pressure of Armstrong's American squad, who were determined to make the 127km race as hard as possible.

A puncture on the Paadestraat wrecked the defending champion, Annemiek Van Vleuten's chances of contending the final.

"Our goal was to be barely able to finish at the line." said Armstrong's teammate, Kristin McGrath. "We all were making attacks to keep the peloton strung out so Armstrong could attack on the Kwaremont, and the plan worked."

Numerous probing attacks were made as the race travelled over the Berendries, Valkenberg and Kanarieberg climbs at the heart of the race. According to reports the peloton was frequently split into large groups. At one point, more than a minute separated the first and second bunches.

The decisive move was made amid the screaming fans on the Kwaremont, when Carmen Small-McNellis of the United States team hit the bottom of the climb in first place and made the perfect platform for Armstrong, the reigning Olympic TT champion to make her move. Only Arndt, the World TT champion had the legs to stay with her.

However at the finish British National Champion Lizzie Armitstead said race communication broke down and the chasing peloton weren't being given time gaps or even knew who was ahead.

"We just had to pull the last 15kms and bring back the group, but weren't getting any times or numbers."

She said: "I'm disappointed. I think my inexperience showed. I've only done Flanders once before and I was too excited. In went with an attack after the Kanarieberg and again just before the Oude Kwaremont so the attack was caught and when they come past you with speed it's hard to [get on]."

While Armitstead's AA Drinks-Leontien.nl squad tried rein in the break in the closing stages, the combined strength of the two world-beating time-trialists was too much.

The pair collaborated all the way to the final kilometre. "I was surprised we were the only two left," said Arndt. "In a sprint like this you pretty much feel immediately if you are going to beat the other or not.

"We're both similar types of rider. We don't really have an acceleration so we both knew if we wanted to win we had to do a long sprint. I watched her like a track rider and she started to go at about 350m. I also started immediately." It was Arndt's fourth victory this year, including the overall at the Ladies' Tour of Qatar.

For Armstrong who has her sights firmly set on the London Olympic Games, it was a satisfying performance.

"It makes me feel good. I wanted to come into the early season so I can take a break before London. I have to come in strong to show that I can race in Europe. This is just one more step towards selection."

Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Judith Arndt (Ger) Greenedge-Ais3:19:05
2Kristin Armstrong (USA) USA National Team0:00:02
3Joelle Numainville (Can) Canada National Team0:00:30
4Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Adrie Visser (Ned) Skil 1T4IRow 4 - Cell 2
6Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Team Specialized-LululemonRow 5 - Cell 2
7Evelyn Arys (Bel) Kleo Ladies TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Christine Majerus (Lux) Team GSD GestionRow 7 - Cell 2
9Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Be PinkRow 9 - Cell 2
11Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Carmen Mcnellis Small (USA) USA National TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012Row 13 - Cell 2
15Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Greenedge-AisRow 14 - Cell 2
16Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) RusveloRow 15 - Cell 2
17Audrey Cordon (Fra) Vienne FuturoscopeRow 16 - Cell 2
18Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Vaiano TepsoRow 18 - Cell 2
20Amélie Rivat (Fra) Vienne FuturoscopeRow 19 - Cell 2
21Megan Guarnier (USA) Tibco-To The TopRow 20 - Cell 2
22Trixi Worrack (Ger) Team Specialized-LululemonRow 21 - Cell 2
23Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Dolmans-Boels CyclingteamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Mcipollini GiambeniniRow 24 - Cell 2
26Denise Ramsden (Can) Canada National TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Chantal Blaak (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Andrea Dvorak (USA) USA National TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) RusveloRow 28 - Cell 2
30Tayler Wiles (USA) USA National TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Noemi Cantele (Ita) Be PinkRow 30 - Cell 2
32Evelyn Stevens (USA) Team Specialized-LululemonRow 31 - Cell 2
33Amanda Spratt (Aus) Greenedge-AisRow 32 - Cell 2
34Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Emma Pooley (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team0:00:54
36Liesbet De Vocht (Bel) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team0:01:52
37Martina Corazza (Ita) Kleo Ladies TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Samantha Schneider (USA) Tibco-To The TopRow 37 - Cell 2
39Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) RusveloRow 38 - Cell 2
40Monia Baccaille (Ita) Mcipollini GiambeniniRow 39 - Cell 2
41Leah Kirchmann (Can) Canada National TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Team Specialized-LululemonRow 41 - Cell 2
43Kristin Mcgrath (USA) USA National TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Irina Molicheva (Rus) RusveloRow 43 - Cell 2
45Clara Hughes (Can) Team Specialized-LululemonRow 44 - Cell 2
46Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Greenedge-AisRow 45 - Cell 2
47Sarah Düster (Ger) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling TeamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Lauren Hall (USA) Tibco-To The TopRow 47 - Cell 2
49Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies0:01:57
50Annelies Van Doorslaer (Bel) Kleo Ladies Team0:04:46
51Julia Martisova (Rus) Be PinkRow 50 - Cell 2
52Ine Beyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012Row 51 - Cell 2
53Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) Diadora-Pasta ZaraRow 52 - Cell 2
54Valentina Carretta (Ita) Mcipollini GiambeniniRow 53 - Cell 2
55Josien Van Wingerden (Ned) Netherlands National TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Lucinda Brand (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Amanda Miller (USA) Tibco-To The TopRow 56 - Cell 2
58Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lotto Belisol LadiesRow 57 - Cell 2
59Lise Nöstvold (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team0:07:44
60Romy Kasper (Ger) RusveloRow 59 - Cell 2
61Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Mascha Pijnenborg (Ned) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam0:08:56
63Lucy Martin (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
64Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) Be PinkRow 63 - Cell 2
65Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Mcipollini GiambeniniRow 64 - Cell 2
66Anne Arnouts (Bel) Kleo Ladies TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Polona Batagelj (Slo) Diadora-Pasta ZaraRow 66 - Cell 2
68Valentina Scandolara (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini RoxRow 67 - Cell 2
69Regina Bruins (Ned) Skil 1T4IRow 68 - Cell 2
70Alona Andruk (Ukr) Diadora-Pasta ZaraRow 69 - Cell 2

 

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