Bastianelli bests Van Vleuten to win 2019 Tour of Flanders
Team Virtu's Marta Bastianelli came out on top of a three-woman sprint to win the 2019 Tour of Flanders on Sunday, relegating 2011 winner Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) to second place, with Bigla's Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig in third.
The trio went clear of the field thanks to Bastianelli's attack on the Oude Kwaremont with 20 kilometres to go, and initially had 2013 champion Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) and Katia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) along for the ride with them. However, an untimely puncture for Vos saw the Dutchwoman forced out of contention, and then an attack by Van Vleuten on the day's final climb, the Paterberg, dropped Niewiadoma.
Van Vleuten tried to rid of herself of her two breakaway companions on the run-in to the finish in Oudenaarde, but was unable to shake them, and Bastianelli easily despatched Van Vleuten and Uttrup Ludwig in the sprint for the line.
Bastianelli's Virtu teammate Sofia Bertizzolo led home the best of the rest in fourth place, seven seconds down, to top off what was another successful day for the Danish team, with Bastianelli extending her lead in the UCI Women's WorldTour ranking.
"It was an incredible race," said Bastianelli at the finish. "I'm really happy about this incredible result. It was a very hard race, but I pulled it off.
"I've got a great team," the Italian continued. "I attacked on the Kwaremont as they told me to do. Today we had [team manager] Bjarne Riis in the team car, and so I couldn't make any mistakes.
"I kept going on the Paterberg, and kept working all the way to the finish. I got on Van Vleuten's wheel and gave it everything to pull off the win. I've won some big races but this is a very, very important one for me," she said.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling||4:16:50|
|2||Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women|
|3||Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Bigla Pro Cycling Team|
|4||Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling||0:00:07|
|5||Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo Women|
|6||Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM|
|7||Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||0:00:10|
|8||Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling||0:00:55|
|9||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women|
|10||Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam|
Tour of Flanders Women 2019