Annemiek van Vleuten wins Tour of Flanders

Ten years after her first victory, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) has won her second Tour of Flanders. The European champion attacked from a small group of favourites on the final climb with 14km to go, before extending her gap from seven seconds at the top of the Paterberg to 25 seconds at the finish. 

From the chase group, Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT) beat Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) in the sprint for second place.

“I had been hoping for this for ten years after my 2011 victory, and now it all fell into place. I am very proud, especially for my new team Movistar, the girls worked very hard for me, I was the number-one leader and could finish it off like this … I think we are going to celebrate big tonight,” said a happy Van Vleuten after the race.

“I tried to attack on the Kanarieberg, but there was a headwind, so I stopped again. But it prompted a reaction from the others, making it a good race, and that was to my advantage”, she continued. “I knew that there was nothing after the Paterberg, and I wanted to get to the top first. I had some doubts on the Kwaremont if I should counterattack after Anna’s [van der Breggen. ed.] move, but I thought, wait, wait, it is not on our team to take the initiative. SD Worx was in the group with several riders, and I could profit from that.”

Reliving the final 13 kilometers, Van Vleuten said: “I was so knackered. I really went all out. Eight seconds at the top was not much, I knew I needed more, to get out of sight, because of the long finishing straight.”

How it unfolded

Starting and finishing in Oudenaarde, the 152.4-kilometre race included 13 hellingen, seven of which were cobbled, plus five flatter cobblestone sections.

There were several breakaways in the first half of the race, but they were never more than 50 seconds ahead, and the last one was reeled in after the second climb of the day, the Edelareberg, 63km into the race.

Over the next hellingen, Team SD Worx, Team Jumbo-Visma, Movistar Team, Canyon-SRAM, Alé BTC Ljubljana, and Liv Racing controlled the peloton that became smaller and smaller through attrition, but there were no real attacks until the Berg ten Houte where a move by Leah Thomas (Movistar Team) was neutralised quickly.

On the Kanarieberg, 44km from the finish, Van Vleuten put in a short-lived acceleration. “I tried to attack on the Kanarieberg, but there was a headwind, so I stopped again. But it prompted a reaction from the others, making it a good race, and that was to my advantage,” she explained after the race.

It was then Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo) who attacked after the climb and quickly got a gap, extending her advantage over a peloton of about 40 riders to half a minute on the Kruisberg. Team DSM’s attempts to launch a chase with Floortje Mackaij and Liane Lippert were shut down, but Soraya Paladin broke away on the short flat on the Kruisberg/Hotond combination.

Moves by Amy Pieters (Team SD Worx) and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) on the Hotond came to nothing, leaving Cordon-Ragot and Paladin ahead of the peloton. They were eventually caught just before the Oude Kwaremont, starting at 18km to go.

World champion Anna van der Breggen (Team SD Worx) pushed the pace on the long, cobbled climb, followed only by Brown, Van Vleuten, Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), Brennauer, Uttrup Ludwig, Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), and Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx).

Brown accelerated from this group on the way towards the final climb, and Van Vleuten bridged the small gap on her own. The two were reeled in at the bottom of the Paterberg where Van Vleuten took the lead and went all-in, dropping the rest of the group and cresting the top with an eight-second gap.

From there on, she extended her lead on the way to the finish in Oudenaarde, helped by a lack of cooperation in the group behind where riders were either wary of investing energy to bring their rivals back into the race or just unable to push any harder after a long race.

Finishing in fourth place, Longo Borghini took back the lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour. Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team) defended her lead in the Women’s WorldTour youth ranking.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar Team Women 4:01:11
2Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team 0:00:26
3Grace Brown (Aus) Team BikeExchange
4Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5Demi Vollering (Ned) Team SD Worx
6Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
7Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:00:28
8Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Team SD Worx 0:00:35
9Marlen Reusser (Swi) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:00:51
10Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:00:55
11Leah Thomas (USA) Movistar Team Women 0:00:57
12Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:01:00
13Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing
14Amy Pieters (Ned) Team SD Worx
15Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
16Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
17Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team DSM
18Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo
19Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) Team SD Worx
20Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:01:03
21Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:04
22Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing 0:02:11
23Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing
24Anna Henderson (GBr) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
25Mischa Bredewold (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
26Liane Lippert (Ger) Team DSM
27Riejanne Markus (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
28Amanda Spratt (Aus) Team BikeExchange
29Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
30Sarah Roy (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:04:08
31Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
32Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:05:22
33Kathrin Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
34Franziska Koch (Ger) Team DSM
35Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar Team Women
36Maaike Boogaard (Ned) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
37Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
38Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Liv Racing
39Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
40Julie Leth (Den) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
41Thalita De Jong (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
42Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
43Maike Van der Duin (Ned) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
44Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
45Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing
46Valerie Demey (Bel) Liv Racing
47Katia Ragusa (Ita) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
48Hanna Nilsson (Swe) Lotto Soudal Ladies
49Jesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
50Spela Kern (Slo) Massi Tactic Women Team
51Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM Racing
52Romy Kasper (Ger) Jumbo-Visma Women Team
53Inge van der Heijden (Ned) Ciclismo Mundial
54Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
55Anne Dorthe Ysland (Nor) Hitec Products
56Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
57Maëlle Grossetete (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
58Mariia Novolodskaia (Rus) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
59Marta Lach (Pol) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
60Juliette Labous (Fra) Team DSM
61Sarah Gigante (Aus) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
62Christine Majerus (Lux) Team SD Worx
63Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
64Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
65Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
66Soraya Paladin (Ita) Liv Racing 0:05:28
67Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
68Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank 0:08:30
69Femke Gerritse (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:08:39
70Sara Penton (Swe) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
71Vita Heine (Nor) Massi Tactic Women Team
72Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies
73Marit Raaijmakers (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:08:42
74Kathrin Hammes (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
75Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire 0:08:47
76Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
77Moniek Tenniglo (Ned) Team BikeExchange
78Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Team SD Worx
79Laura Tomasi (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
80Sanne Cant (Bel) Ciclismo Mundial
81Jelena Eric (Srb) Movistar Team Women
82Teniel Campbell (TTo) Team BikeExchange
83Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team 0:09:58
84Lieke Nooijen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:09:59
85Maria Van 'T Geloof (Ned) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
86Céline van Houtum (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
87Femke Markus (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
88Lizbeth Yareli Salazar Vazquez (Mex) A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
89Kylie Waterreus (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
90Nina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
91Marijke De Smedt (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
92Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
93Fien Delbaere (Bel) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
94Maaike Coljé (Ned) Massi Tactic Women Team
95Natalie van Gogh (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
96Amalie Lutro (Nor) Hitec Products
97Agua Marina Espinola Salinas (Par) Massi Tactic Women Team
98Inga Cesuliene (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
99Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team DSM
100Aniek van Alphen (Ned) Ciclismo Mundial
101Mireia Benito Pellicer (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
102Eugenia Bujak (Slo) Ale' BTC Ljubljana 0:10:03
103Manon Bakker (Ned) Ciclismo Mundial
104Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Ciclismo Mundial
105Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:10:05
106Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Ale' BTC Ljubljana
107Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:10:03
108Lone Meertens (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
109Fien Van Eynde (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team 0:11:26
110Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Team BikeExchange
111Mireia Trias Jordan (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team 0:12:52
DSQLetizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFAude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women
DNFBarbara Guarischi (Ita) Movistar Team Women
DNFSusanne Andersen (Nor) Team DSM
DNFLea Lin Teutenberg (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
DNFDanique Braam (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFAnna Plichta (Pol) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFSofie van Rooijen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFEva Buurman (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFEleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
DNFYara Kastelijn (Ned) Ciclismo Mundial
DNFJustine Ghekiere (Bel) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
DNFClaudia Jongerius (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
DNFRozanne Slik (Ned) Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire
DNFVictoire Berteau (Fra) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFChristina Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFNicole Steigenga (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFAmber Aernouts (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus Continental Team
DNFRosalie van der Wolf (Ned) Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team
DNFOlivija Baleisyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFGiada Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFGemma Sernissi (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFDanielle Christmas (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur
DNFElizabeth Bennett (GBr) Drops-le Col Supported by Tempur