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Annemiek van Vleuten continues winning streak with Strade Bianche victory

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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Start Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott Team Presentation during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Mavi Garcia on the attack at Strade Bianche Women 2020

Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana) at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Strade Bianche)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Ellen Van Dijk of The Netherlands and Team TrekSegafredo Women Christine Majerus of Luxembourg and Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam Lisa Brennauer of Germany and Ceratizit WNT Pro Cycling Team Dust Public Fans during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Ellen Van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Marianne Vos of The Netherlands and Team CCCLiv Demi Vollering of The Netherlands and Team Parkhotel Valkenburg Amanda Spratt of Australia and Team Mitchelton Scott Peloton during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

The women's peloton at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Omer Shapira of Israel and Team CanyonSram Racing Dust during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Omer Shapira (Canyon-SRAM) at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Lisa Brennauer of Germany and Ceratizit WNT Pro Cycling Team Christine Majerus of Luxembourg and Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam Omer Shapira of Israel and Team CanyonSram Racing Dust during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

The women's peloton at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Start Julie Van de Velde of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal Ladies Covid Safe measures during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Lotto Soudal Ladies at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Tayler Wiles of The United States and Team TrekSegafredo Women Dust Peloton during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Tayler Wiles (Trek-Segafredo) at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Start Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott Covid Safe measures Team Presentation during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Start Lucinda Brand of The Netherlands Elizabeth ArmisteadDeignan of The United Kingdom Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy Ellen Van Dijk of The Netherlands Tayler Wiles of The United States Ruth Winder of The United States and Team TrekSegafredo Women Covid Safe measures Team Presentation during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Trek-Segafedo at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Start Information of Covid Safe measures Detail view during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Start Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands European Champion Jersey Jessica Allen of Australia Lucy Kennedy of Australia Amanda Spratt of Australia Moniek Tenniglo of The Netherlands Georgia Williams of New Zealand and Team Mitchelton Scott Covid Safe measures Team Presentation during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Mitchelton-Scott sign in at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Start Erica Magnaldi of Italy Lisa Brennauer of Germany Maria Giulia Confalonieri of Italy Sarah Rijkes of Austria Ane Santesteban Gonzalez of Spain Lea Lin Teutenberg of Germany and Ceratizit WNT Pro Cycling Team Covid Safe measures Team Presentation during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Ceratizit-WNT at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 START Amanda Spratt of Australia and Team Mitchelton Scott Covid Safe measures Team Presentation during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Start Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Refreshment Bottle Shadow during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten at the start of 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Arrival Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Celebration during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) wins 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Arrival Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Celebration during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) wins 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Arrival Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Celebration during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) wins 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Arrival Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Celebration during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) wins 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Podium Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Celebration Trophy during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten wins 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Podium Leah Thomas of The United Statesand Team Equipe Paule Ka Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Margarita Victoria Garcia Caellas of Spain and Team Ale BTC Ljubljana Celebration Trophy during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten wins 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Podium Leah Thomas of The United Statesand Team Equipe Paule Ka Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Margarita Victoria Garcia Caellas of Spain and Team Ale BTC Ljubljana Celebration Champagne Trophy during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten wins 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Arrival Margarita Victoria Garcia Caellas of Spain and Team Ale BTC Ljubljana Celebration during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Mavi Garcia at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Arrival Anna Van der Breggen of The Netherlands and Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Anna van der Breggen at 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Podium Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Celebration Trophy during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Podium Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands and Team Mitchelton Scott World Champion Jersey Celebration during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Annemiek van Vleuten 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)
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SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Podium Margarita Victoria Garcia Caellas of Spain and Team Ale BTC Ljubljana Celebration Trophy Flowers during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

Mavi Garcia 2020 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) has won her second consecutive Strade Bianche, continuing her winning streak after the re-start of the women's cycling season. 

The world champion bridged from the peloton to a chasing group on the penultimate gravel sector and went on a solo chase of Margarita Victoria García (Alé BTC Ljubljana) who had attacked 45km from the finish. 

Van Vleuten caught the Spaniard with seven kilometres to go and dropped her on the Via Santa Caterina, taking a solo win on the Piazza del Campo. Leah Thomas (Équipe Paule Ka) rounded out the podium almost two minutes later.

“My teammate Amanda Spratt did an awesome job to be in the break, so I had an easy day”, Van Vleuten said after the finish. “I actually thought the race was over and that she would win from that group. Then suddenly Mavi García was away, she is a really strong rider, it was beautiful for the race, and I had to go full in that attack. The Piazza del Campo is the most beautiful finish for me to win, so it was an emotional victory.”

The heat of 36°C and more did not impede the world champion: “I try to think the other way around”, Van Vleuten explained. “Everything that is hard is good for me because it is also hard for my opponents. I love the heat, and all the other girls will suffer even more.”

How it unfolded

The first UCI Women’s WorldTour race after the COVID-19 racing break saw 122 riders take to the start of the 136-kilometre race, with Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv), Ella Harris (Canyon-SRAM), and Clara Koppenburg (Ceratizit-WNT) non-starters after training crashes the day before.

Eight sectors with a total 31.6 kilometres of gravel Strade Bianche and scorching August heat made for an extremely hard race. After a few short-lived breaks, the peloton split halfway through the race on the fifth and longest gravel sector, but things rolled back together again, leading to a peloton of around 40 riders.

Eleven riders attacked just before the 50-kilometre mark. Spratt, García, Rasa Leleivyte (Aromitalia Vaiano), Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels Dolmans), Omer Shapira (Canyon-SRAM), Soraya Paladin (CCC-Liv), Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT), Thomas, Stine Borgli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo), and Elisa Balsamo (Valcar-Travel & Service) soon had a 30-second advantage as most big teams were represented in the group.

Only a few minutes later, García took her heart in both hands and went on a long solo ride, building a gap of more than three minutes on the chase group and over five minutes on the peloton. But the heat took its toll on the 36-year-old Spaniard, and she was visibly struggling on the steep slopes of the last gravel sectors, Colle Pinzuto and Le Tolfe, in the final 20 kilometres.

It was on Colle Pinzuto that Van Vleuten made her move, bridging to the chase group. After a final turn by her teammate Spratt, the world champion led the chase ever closer to García. Entering the Le Tolfe sector 1:35 minutes behind the leader, Van Vleuten dropped her remaining companions and continued to chase García on her own.

Though García tried to hold on, she was caught eventually. Staying on Van Vleuten’s wheel, García tried to anticipate the inevitable attack on the steep final kilometre but had no response to Van Vleuten’s winning move.

Leah Thomas had gone solo from the chase group in the last ten kilometres and just stayed ahead of the surging favourites, Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans), Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), and Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv). Liane Lippert, winner of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race back in February, was the best U23 rider in 16th place, defending her lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour overall and U23 classifications.

Results

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women 4:03:54
2Margarita Victoria Garcia Cañellas (Spa) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:00:02
3Leah Thomas (USA) Equipe Paule Ka 0:01:53
4Anna Van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:02:05
5Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:02:11
6Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:02:26
7Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:02:40
8Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro 0:03:26
9Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:04:20
10Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:05:20
11Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano 0:05:21
12Mikayla Harvey (NZl) Equipe Paule Ka
13Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women 0:05:55
14Eugenia Bujak (Slo) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:06:02
15Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) Ceratizit-WNT Pro 0:06:23
16Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb Women 0:06:27
17Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:06:43
18Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:06:59
19Omer Shapira (Isr) Canyon-Sram Racing 0:07:08
20Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:08:06
21Katia Ragusa (Ita) Astana Women's Team 0:08:07
22Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro 0:08:16
23Vania Canvelli (Ita) Bepink 0:08:18
24Julie Van de Velde (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:08:24
25Eider Merino Cortazar (Spa) Movistar Team Women 0:08:28
26Elise Chabbey (Swi) Equipe Paule Ka 0:08:32
27Diana Carolina Peñuela Martinez (Col) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:08:35
28Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-Sram Racing 0:08:45
29Chantal Van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
30Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:09:28
31Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano 0:09:34
32Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:09:55
33Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:10:28
34Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
35Soraya Paladin (Ita) CCC-Liv 0:11:03
36Elena Pirrone (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:11:36
37Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:11:49
38Franziska Koch (Ger) Team Sunweb Women 0:13:17
39Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram Racing
40Elizabeth Banks (GBr) Equipe Paule Ka
41Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:13:47
42Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:14:26
43Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women 0:17:52
44Evita Muzic (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:19:09
45Giorgia Catarzi (Ita) Bepink 0:19:30
OTLAbby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies
OTLJelena Eric (Srb) Movistar Team Women
OTLNiamh Fisher-Black (NZl) Equipe Paule Ka
OTLLaura Tomasi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
OTLDebora Silvestri (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
OTLChristine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
OTLCarmela Cipriani (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
OTLArianna Fidanza (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies
OTLKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
OTLLeah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women
OTLRomy Kasper (Ger) Parkhotel Valkenburg
OTLFrancesca Pisciali (Ita) Eurotarget-Bianchi-Vittoria
OTLMarkéta Hájková (Cze) Bepink
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFMoniek Tenniglo (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFGeorgia Williams (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
DNFEri Yonamine (Jpn) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
DNFAngelica Brogi (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
DNFAnastasia Carbonari (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
DNFSofia Collinelli (Ita) Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano
DNFMaryna Ivaniuk (Ukr) Astana Women's Team
DNFFrancesca Pattaro (Ita) Astana Women's Team
DNFOlga Shekel (Ukr) Astana Women's Team
DNFValentina Landuzzi (Ita) Bepink
DNFMelissa Van Neck (Cze) Bepink
DNFSilvia Zanardi (Ita) Bepink
DNFEva Buurman (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
DNFLonneke Uneken (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
DNFElena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFKatarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFSofia Bertizzolo (Ita) CCC-Liv
DNFErica Magnaldi (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
DNFSarah Rijkes (Aut) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
DNFLea Lin Teutenberg (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro

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