Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2022 Tour of Flanders Women.
We're in Oudenaarde for the 19th edition of the women's Tour of Flanders
Things are already off to a great start
The bestest dog at the start of the women's race. pic.twitter.com/kovfHYzDjBApril 3, 2022
158.6km of climbs and cobbles await the women's peloton today including, for the first time, the hallowed slopes of the Koppenberg.
There are 11 climbs and 11 cobbled sectors in total.
The snow has finally stopped in Belgium but it's still pretty cold out there: 6°C
Amongst the pre-race favourites is SD Worx's Demi Vollering, who is returning to racing for the first time since Strade Bianche in March
A photo posted by on
30 minutes to go until the flag drop
At 13:25 local time the riders will roll out of Oudenaarde for 4.6km of neutral
It's going to be a wheelie good race...
🎥 "My wheelie brings all the boys to the yard.." - @ilariasanguinet on her way to the sign on for #RVVwomen! #RVV22 pic.twitter.com/hVAnJxmYoqApril 3, 2022
Liane Lippert (Team DSM) and Nina Kessler (BEX) will not start today due to illness
All of the favourites are still in the running, however. To see which 10 riders to watch click here.
This is officially the cutest thing ever
Shout out to this Belgian boy who handed loads of riders jerseys made out of Beadz, adorable pic.twitter.com/3ePGZYbgPRApril 3, 2022
They're off for the neutral rollout!
🎥 The neutral start has been given! 140 riders are rolling out of Oudenaarde now - the first 4.6 km will be neutralized today, before the real start follows at KM 0! #RVVwomen #RVV22 pic.twitter.com/4RFRD2DI0EApril 3, 2022
🏁 they're off
159km to go
The riders will complete three difference loops. The first contains two cobbled sectors starting after 45km
After 5km of racing the peloton are all together
144km to go
Two riders have a small gap
5 leaders have a 23 second gap, they are:
Clara Honsinger (EF Education - Tibco - SVB), Sofie van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Olivia Baril (Valcar - Travel & Service), Maria Martins (Le Col - Wahoo), Kristyna Burlova (Lotto Soudal).
Elise Chabbey of Canyon SRAM has crashed
The gap is already being brought down, it is now 16 seconds.
The break is now down to 4 riders with a 30 second gap
139km to go
Reminder that the four riders are:
Clara Honsinger (EF Education - Tibco - SVB), Sofie van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Olivia Baril (Valcar - Travel & Service), Maria Martins (Le Col - Wahoo)
A chase group of three riders is now 42" behind the break. The peloton is 50" behind.
The chase group have now been caught
The gap to the four leaders has now gone out to 1'18
130km to go
World Champion, Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo), is one of the out-and-out favourites for the win today. She has won the previous three rounds of the women's WorldTour and if she can get over the climbs she will be hard to beat in a sprint.
SD Worx have other ideas, however, they plan to drop the Italian and isolate another of the pre-race favourites: defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar)
But, "good luck with that" says Balsamo's teammate, Ellen van Dijk.
The leading four riders have 2 minutes on the peloton. Meanwhile four more have countered from the peloton:
Makayla MacPherson (Human Powered Health)
Katrijn de Clercq (Lotto Soudal)
Lotte Popelier (Bingoal Casino - Chevalmeire - Van Eyck Sport)
Naomi De Roeck (Bingoal Casino - Chevalmeire - Van Eyck Sport)
At 1 minute
124km to go
Makayla MacPherson (Human Powered Health) is having trouble staying with the group
2'35" to the front group now and 1'36" to the chasers
In 5km the peloton will reach the first cobbled sector: Lippenhovestraat
115km to go
Crash for Tanja Erath (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB)
Just under 10 minutes until the live broadcast starts. Click here to find out how to watch.
Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon SRAM) has attacked from the peloton
🎥 111 km to go in the #RVVwomen. We have 4 leaders 2'13 ahead of 4 chasers and 2'30 ahead of the main bunch as we are racing on the cobblestones of Paddestraat. 🚜The 4 leaders are Honsinger, van Rooijen, Baril & Martins. #RVV22 pic.twitter.com/bLXbuRD6MVApril 3, 2022
It has started to rain slightly
104km to go
Cromwell has bridged to the chasing group
The leaders have just over four minutes on the peloton and there are two chase groups at 2'37" and 3'03"
Gulnaz Khatuntseva (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad) and Alena Ivanchenko (UAE) are the two riders who make up the third chase group
Recap of race situation:
Original break: Clara Honsinger (EF Education - Tibco - SVB), Sofie van Rooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Olivia Baril (Valcar - Travel & Service), Maria Martins (Le Col - Wahoo)
+ 2'55 - 4 chasers: Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon - SRAM), Naomi De Roeck, Lotte Popelier (both Bingoal Casino - Chevalmeire - Van Eyck), Katrijn DeClercq (Lotto Soudal)
+ 2'37 - 2 chasers: Gulnaz Khatuntseva (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad) and Alena Ivanchenko (UAE)
+ 3'53 - Peloton
The peloton have already gone back through Oudenaarde and are starting the second loop where the climbs start
Gulnaz Khatuntseva (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad) and Alena Ivanchenko (UAE) have bridged to the chase group. The gap to the front four is 3'50" with the six-rider chase at 2'37"
The break are on the first climb of the day: the Wolvenberg
Uno-x and Team DSM are at the front of the peloton
The peloton are now on the Wolvenberg and it's still DSM and Uno-x on the front
87km to go
The gap is coming down, it's 3'17" now for the leading four and 2'36" for the chase
The leading four are on the Jagerij cobbled sector
Clara Honsinger (EF Education First TIBCO) is US national champion of cyclocross and the winner of the 2021 'Koppenbergcross' which takes place on the very same climb that she will be riding over in around 40km time
Speaking of cyclcross riders, Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) is here and riding at the front of the peloton in her first road race of the year
It's Marlen Reusser (Team SD Worx) riding on the front now with her teammate, and race favourite, Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky on her wheel
One of the Bingoal Casino - Chevalmeire - Van Eyck from the chase group has been caught by the peloton
The leading group is now down to just two riders: Honsinger and Baril. Their advantage is 2'34"
The chase is now down to Alena Ivanchenko (UAE) and Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon SRAM)
Ivanchenko is the junior European and world ITT champion
Baril and Honsinger
Martins and van Rooijen 12"
Cromwell and Ivanchenko 2'10"
The leaders are just about to hit the Molenberg
78km to go
The two leaders have started to climb the Molenberg. Will the climb make a difference to their advantage?
The bunch are on the Molenberg, there is congestion at the back as the riders turn into the climb and at the front Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) puts the hammer down
Ivanchenko is caught
1'59" now for the front two
Brands move has caused splits
Just shows how positioning is so important when it comes to conserving energy - the turn onto the Molenberg is such a squeeze point that anyone in the 2nd half of the bunch loses all their speed into the bottom.#RVVwomen pic.twitter.com/Qt9frkaWKbApril 3, 2022
All strung out after the Molenberg with Trek, DSM, and Liv Racing at the front
Aude Biannic (movistar), Valerie Demey (Liv Racing Xstra), Christine Majerus (SD Worx), Pffeifer Georgi (Team DSM) and Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) have a small gap off the front of the peloton. The original leading two have 1'51
Martins and van Rooijen are about to be caught by the peloton as they approach the Marlboroughstraat
1'39" now for the two who remain in front
Attack by Amanda Spratt from the peloton who catches and passes Martins and van Rooijen
1'30 for leaders Honsinger and Baril at the foot of the Berendries.
Spratt already has around 10 seconds on the peloton
The two leaders are on the Berendries which is 900m in length and maxes out at 10.5%, pretty much straight after is the Valkenberg which has a similar profile before the first ever time up the Koppenberg for the women which comes just under 20km later
Annemiek van Vleuten is on the front of the peloton as they climb the Berendries
1'19" for the leading two now
Spratt is caught
Attack from Marta Jaskulska (Liv Racing Xstra) from the peloton
The advantage for the two leaders is now just over one minute
65km to go
Correction: 1'23" for the two leaders and around 20 seconds for Jaskulska
Attack from Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) on the Valkenburg
Alena Amialusik (Canyon SRAM) jumps straight onto her wheel
Van Dijk brings Mischa Bredewold (parkhotel Valkenburg), Christine Majerus (SD Worx), Amialusik, and two other with her and the group catch Jaskulska
57 seconds now for Honsinger and Baril at the front
The gap to the split caused by van Dijk is closed but she stays on the front keeping the pace high
The fight for the Koppenberg starts here! ⛰️
The pressure goes out of the chase for a moment and Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) takes her chance to attack again taking Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) with her
The aggression behind has brought the gap down to 43 seconds
60km to go
📢 15km until the Koppenberg 📢
Attack from Camilla Alessio (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling)
The peloton are about to catch the two leaders
The peloton have slowed and are letting the gap to Baril and Honsinger go out slightly again with just over 10km to go until the Koppenberg
Alessio brought two other riders with her and they have joined Baril and Honsinger
Will they be able to stay away until the Koppenberg?
The peloton look to be letting them go
The gap is back out to 26 seconds
Valerie Demey (Liv Racing Xstra) attacks in an attempt to bridge to the leading five
Very little has been seen of either Lotte Kopecky or Elisa Balsamo today, the fast finishers are doing a good job of staying out of the wind and staying out of danger, but can they survive the succession of climbs leading into the finish?
The leading five are: Marit Raaijmakers (Human Powered Health), Maike van der Duin (Le Col - Wahoo), Camilla Alessio (Ceratizit-WNT), Olivia Baril (Valcar Travel & Service), Clara Honsinger (EF Education First Tibco) they have an advantage of 1'30"
6.4km until the Koppenberg
Leading five: 1'37"
Valerie Demey 50"
Trek-Segafredo are amassed at one side of the peloton with Uno-x on the other
📢 4km until the Koppenberg 📢
2'09" now for the five leaders as Movistar and Team DSM come up to the front of the peloton in the run-in to the Koppenberg
Jumbo Visma are also active for Marianne Vos
Teams are really fighting for position now, aware of the importance of positioning going into the Koppenberg
Lorena Wiebes is on the front for Team DSM, it looks like they are working for Mackaij today
The cobbled climb of the Koppenberg may not be where the race is won but it can be lost on the 600m climb with an average gradient of 11.6% with max gradients of 22%
The leading five are on the Koppenberg
Maike van der Duin (Le Col - Wahoo) leads. These are the first riders to ever race up the Koppenberg in the women;s tour of Flanders
Aude Biannic of Movistar leads the peloton into the bottom of the climb
Demi Vollering, Lotte Kopecky, Floortje Mackaij, Elisa Balsamo, and Marlen Reusser are leading the bunch up the Koppenberg
Annemiek van Vleuten is the first rider in the peloton to crest the Koppenberg
Honsinger has been dropeped from the front
Maike van der Duin attacks the break
A group of 9 riders have split from the peloton over the Koppenberg including Demi Vollering, Marlen Reusser, Annemiek van Vleuten, Lotte Kopecky, Elisa Longo Borghini, Emma Norsgaard, and Arlenis Sierra
Just under one minute for the front four
The next climb, Steenbeekdries, comes in just 1km
The group including Demi Vollering, Marlen Reusser, Annemiek van Vleuten, Lotte Kopecky, Elisa Longo Borghini, Emma Norsgaard, and Arlenis Sierra has been caught
30 seconds for the leading four as Annemiek van Vleuten leads the peloton
Two km until climb number 8, the Taaienberg,
The peloton is split to pieces now
It's Lucinda Brand again on the front for Trek-Segafredo with Marlen Reusser behind with Lotte Lotte Kopecky on her wheel
Attack from Anna Henderson (Jumbo Visma)
It's van der Duin again attacking the break on the Taaienberg
Demi Vollering leads the peloton with her teammate Marlen Reusser on her wheel
The break are caught with the exception of Maike van der Duin (Le Col Wahoo)
van der Duin is caught
Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) is now leading the peloton
Attack from Arlenis Sierra (Movistar)
Brodie Chapman (FDJ) closes it down
Ellen van Dijk counters with Chantal van den Broek Blaak on her wheel
A group of six have broken away
The group is: Anna Henderson (Jumbo Visma), Christine Majerus (SD Worx), Brodie Chapmaman (FDJ), Arlenis Sierra (Movistar), Maria Guilia Confalonieri (Ceratizit-WNT), Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM)
A chase group of 18 riders have just caught the peloton making it around 30 riders
The leading group consists of: Bertizzolo, Majerus, Henderson, Sierra, Confalonieri, Alessio, Baril, Chapman, Raaijmakers & van der Duin
Niewiadoma leads the peloton up the Kruisberg/Hotond
28km to go
Annemiek van Vleuten, Lotte Kopecky, and Grace Brown have a gap on the peloton
Annemiek van Vleuten attacks from the group of three
Baril has been dropped from the break
The remaining riders have 16 seconds
Marlen Reusser attacks from the chase group
van der Duin has been caught and it's Movistar driving the peloton
They are approaching the Oude Kwaremont
It's starting to rain heavily
122km to go
Trek have missed this move
Marlen Reusser has caught and passed the break
There are around 20 riders in the bunch behind
Elisa Balsamo is still there as is Lotte Kopecky
Reusser has been caught by the break
The leaders: Majerus, Reusser, Alessio, Confalonieri, Bertizzolo, Niewiadoma, Henderson, Chapman, Raaijmakers and Sierra have 25 seconds
They are approaching the Oude Kwaremont
Christine Majerus (SD Worx) is driving the break
The roads are soaking wet
Marit Raaijmakers (Human Powered Health) is dropped from the break as Brodie Chapman drives the front
Reusser catches and passes Chapman who holds her wheel. Kasia Niewiadoma is right behind
It's Reusser and Chapman with a small gap to Niewiadoma and Sierra
Confalonieri and Bertizzolo are behind and then Henderson and Majerus
Chapman and Reusser have a gap
16km to go
Kopecky, Chantal van den Broek Blaak, van Vleuten, Anna Henderson, Sofia Bertizzolo, and Maria Giulia Confalonieri are chasing
Chantal van den Broek Blaak attacks from the chase
van den Broek Blaak is dragging the group up to her teammate Reusser and Brodie Chapman
The leading two are on the Paterberg
Chapman and Reusser have been caught
Annemiek van Vleuten attacks but Lotte Kopecky and Marlen Reusser are on her
Reusser, van Vleuten, and Kopecky have a gap over the top of the Paterberg
Niewiadoma and Chapman are chasing
Reusser, Kopecky, van Vleuten, Niewiadoma, Chapman, and van den Broek Blaak are all together now
van den Broek Blaak attacks
van Vleuten is chasing with Kopecky on her wheel
van Vleuten and Kopecky have caught van den Broek BLaak
Chapman is leading the chase with Niewiadoma and Reusser
In the reduced peloton behind it's Movistar leading the chase...for some reason
The leading three have 19 seconds to Chapman, Reusser, and Niewiadma and 45 seconds on the peloton
5.8km to go
31" and 59" now for the two groups
3.6km to go
It looks like van den Broek Blaak, Kopecky, and van Vleuten will go to the line together
53" and 1'10" now
1.8km to go
Chapman's teammates Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Grace Brown have bridged to the second group with van Vleuten's Movistar teammate Arlenis Sierra.
The leading trio have gone under the flamme rouge
It's a tailwind into the finish - who will win the sprint?
Lotte Kopecky is the first Belgian woman to win Ronde van Vlaanderen for 12 years
Annemiek van Vleuten takes second and Chantal van den Broek Blaak third
"it's quite overwhelming, I'm very thankful to my teammates and I think this victory is not only for me but for them...I normally I know I'm faster than Annemiek but after a hard race we also know Annemiek is fast and that you cannot be too confident but still I really...I was quite confident but you're never sure."
Annemiek van Vleuten on her second place:
"Actually I was hoping it would be a little harder, especially the middle part it would have been better for me if it had been raced harder so that I had more opportunity to drop the girls in the final. I couldn't drop Lotte Kopecky and the others. The race wasn't hard enough to play my advantage.
To go to the line with a sprinter as fast as Lotte Kopecky, you know it's hard to beat her in the sprint but I always want to try. To get second to be there again in the mix and go again for the podium it shows I have really strong results here. Maybe next year we try again. The legs are good and also my team got stronger this year so it was nice to play the game together."
Thanks for following our live coverage of the Tour of Flanders. Join us next time for the sixth round of the Women's WorldTour, Amstel Gold Race on Sunday 10th April.
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