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Judith Arndt wins 2012 Women's Tour of Flanders

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Judith Arndt (GreenEDGE-AIS) takes victory just ahead of Kristin Armstrong (USA National)

Judith Arndt (GreenEDGE-AIS) takes victory just ahead of Kristin Armstrong (USA National)
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home)

Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Go, Emma, GO!

Go, Emma, GO!
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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This town was totally kitted out to support the Swedes

This town was totally kitted out to support the Swedes
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The bunch sprint as the main group comes into the finish

The bunch sprint as the main group comes into the finish
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Yes! Judith Arndt (GreenEdge - AIS) takes victory over Kristin Armstrong (USA National Team)

Yes! Judith Arndt (GreenEdge - AIS) takes victory over Kristin Armstrong (USA National Team)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) and Kristin Armstrong (USA National Team) make it a battle of two

Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) and Kristin Armstrong (USA National Team) make it a battle of two
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) salutes following her victory at the Tour of Flanders

Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) salutes following her victory at the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home) goes over the cobbles

Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-Mistral Home) goes over the cobbles
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Judith Arndt (GreenEdge - AIS) on the podium

Judith Arndt (GreenEdge - AIS) on the podium
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Judith Arndt celebrates her victory at the Tour of Flanders with what else but champagne

Judith Arndt celebrates her victory at the Tour of Flanders with what else but champagne
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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About to be swallowed by the chasers - Andrea Dvorak (United States) and Evelyn Stevens (Specialized - lululemon) on Oude Kwaremont

About to be swallowed by the chasers - Andrea Dvorak (United States) and Evelyn Stevens (Specialized - lululemon) on Oude Kwaremont
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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On the penultimate climb, Patterberg, Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) and Kristin Armstrong (United States)

On the penultimate climb, Patterberg, Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) and Kristin Armstrong (United States)
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) leads the chasers a few seconds back

Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) leads the chasers a few seconds back
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Emma Pooley (AA Drink) made some huge accelerations, but couldn't get away

Emma Pooley (AA Drink) made some huge accelerations, but couldn't get away
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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The three chasers, Evelyn Stevens (Specialized - lululemon), Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) and Andrea Dvorak (United States)

The three chasers, Evelyn Stevens (Specialized - lululemon), Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) and Andrea Dvorak (United States)
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) leads Kristin Armstrong (United States)

Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) leads Kristin Armstrong (United States)
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home), Evelyn Stevens (Specialized - lululemon) and Andrea Dvorak (United States), chasing Arndt and Armstrong on a climb

Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home), Evelyn Stevens (Specialized - lululemon) and Andrea Dvorak (United States), chasing Arndt and Armstrong on a climb
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Kristin Armstrong (United States) and Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) on the run-in to the finish

Kristin Armstrong (United States) and Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) on the run-in to the finish
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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A happy Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) took her second Ronde van Vlaanderen

A happy Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) took her second Ronde van Vlaanderen
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Kristin Armstrong (United States) was second behind Arndt

Kristin Armstrong (United States) was second behind Arndt
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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The sprint for third place - Kirsten Wild (AA Drink) and Joelle Numainville (Canada) go head-to-head

The sprint for third place - Kirsten Wild (AA Drink) and Joelle Numainville (Canada) go head-to-head
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Kristin Armstrong (United States), Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) and Joelle Numainville (Canada) on the podium

Kristin Armstrong (United States), Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) and Joelle Numainville (Canada) on the podium
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Kristin Armstrong (United States), Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) and Joelle Numainville (Canada) on the podium

Kristin Armstrong (United States), Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) and Joelle Numainville (Canada) on the podium
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Andrea Dvorak (United States) and Evelyn Stevens (Specialized - lululemon) broke away before the Oude Kwaremont

Andrea Dvorak (United States) and Evelyn Stevens (Specialized - lululemon) broke away before the Oude Kwaremont
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Eventual winner Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) in the bunch

Eventual winner Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) in the bunch
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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The busy start area in Oudenaarde

The busy start area in Oudenaarde
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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The peloton stayed together for the first third of the race

The peloton stayed together for the first third of the race
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Specialized - lululemon and the United States National teams were attentive at the front

Specialized - lululemon and the United States National teams were attentive at the front
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Although a Swede, Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) bases herself in this area - this is her "home" World Cup

Although a Swede, Emma Johansson (Hitec Products - Mistral Home) bases herself in this area - this is her "home" World Cup
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Amanda Spratt (GreenEdge-AIS) sees Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Specialized - lululemon) react to an attack

Amanda Spratt (GreenEdge-AIS) sees Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Specialized - lululemon) react to an attack
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Tiffany Cromwell (GreenEdge-AIS) leads on the cobbles

Tiffany Cromwell (GreenEdge-AIS) leads on the cobbles
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Joelle Numainville (Canada) on her way to an eventual third place

Joelle Numainville (Canada) on her way to an eventual third place
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Carmen Small (United States) had an attacking kind of race, marked here by Chantal Blaak (AA Drink)

Carmen Small (United States) had an attacking kind of race, marked here by Chantal Blaak (AA Drink)
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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The bunch all together on a climb

The bunch all together on a climb
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Kristin Armstrong (United States) in the bunch

Kristin Armstrong (United States) in the bunch
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Carmen Small (United States) attacks again, this time, solo

Carmen Small (United States) attacks again, this time, solo
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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The front of the race on a steep section

The front of the race on a steep section
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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Clara Hughes (Specialized - lululemon) was at the "pointy end" of this, her first European race in 2012

Clara Hughes (Specialized - lululemon) was at the "pointy end" of this, her first European race in 2012
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)
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She has done this before... Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) lets rip with the champagne

She has done this before... Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) lets rip with the champagne
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)

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

#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 Team
5Adrie Visser (Ned) Skil 1T4I
6Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Team Specialized-Lululemon
7Evelyn Arys (Bel) Kleo Ladies Team
8Christine Majerus (Lux) Team GSD Gestion
9Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team
10Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Be Pink
11Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team
12Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team
13Carmen Mcnellis Small (USA) USA National Team
14Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012
15Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Greenedge-Ais
16Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Rusvelo
17Audrey Cordon (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope
18Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team
19Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Vaiano Tepso
20Amélie Rivat (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope
21Megan Guarnier (USA) Tibco-To The Top
22Trixi Worrack (Ger) Team Specialized-Lululemon
23Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team
24Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam
25Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Mcipollini Giambenini
26Denise Ramsden (Can) Canada National Team
27Chantal Blaak (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team
28Andrea Dvorak (USA) USA National Team
29Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) Rusvelo
30Tayler Wiles (USA) USA National Team
31Noemi Cantele (Ita) Be Pink
32Evelyn Stevens (USA) Team Specialized-Lululemon
33Amanda Spratt (Aus) Greenedge-Ais
34Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team
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 Team
38Samantha Schneider (USA) Tibco-To The Top
39Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Rusvelo
40Monia Baccaille (Ita) Mcipollini Giambenini
41Leah Kirchmann (Can) Canada National Team
42Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Team Specialized-Lululemon
43Kristin Mcgrath (USA) USA National Team
44Irina Molicheva (Rus) Rusvelo
45Clara Hughes (Can) Team Specialized-Lululemon
46Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Greenedge-Ais
47Sarah Düster (Ger) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team
48Lauren Hall (USA) Tibco-To The Top
49Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies0:01:57
50Annelies Van Doorslaer (Bel) Kleo Ladies Team0:04:46
51Julia Martisova (Rus) Be Pink
52Ine Beyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012
53Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) Diadora-Pasta Zara
54Valentina Carretta (Ita) Mcipollini Giambenini
55Josien Van Wingerden (Ned) Netherlands National Team
56Lucinda Brand (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team
57Amanda Miller (USA) Tibco-To The Top
58Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies
59Lise Nöstvold (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team0:07:44
60Romy Kasper (Ger) Rusvelo
61Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team
62Mascha Pijnenborg (Ned) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam0:08:56
63Lucy Martin (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team
64Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) Be Pink
65Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Mcipollini Giambenini
66Anne Arnouts (Bel) Kleo Ladies Team
67Polona Batagelj (Slo) Diadora-Pasta Zara
68Valentina Scandolara (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox
69Regina Bruins (Ned) Skil 1T4I
70Alona Andruk (Ukr) Diadora-Pasta Zara

 

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