It was a dominant display from Boels Dolmans at the Tour of Flanders with Chantal van den Broek-Blaak followed home in second place by Amy Pieters.
With 19 kilometres to go Chantal van den Broek-Blaak attacked on the Oude Kwaremont, holding off the chasing group thanks to the work of her team which didn’t allow the chase to get into a rhythm.
“I feel very happy, I was waiting the whole season for this moment. I have thought about this race for a long time and now I finally have it,” said van den Broek-Blaak.
“When I was still ahead after the Paterberg, I thought I could win if they started to look at each other behind. I heard on the radio that Anna [van der Breggen] and Amy were in the group behind me and knew they would cover the moves well. I only had to keep riding as hard as possible.”
World Champion, Anna van der Berggen, who was here at the Tour of Flanders riding for the team, did the bulk of the damage. with 45km ot go on the Kanarieberg van der Berggen set a hard pace reducing the size of the peloton and within five kilometres had reeled in the breakaway on the lower slopes of the Taaienberg.
Van den Broek-Blaak had a couple attempts at trying to break away and when she was pulled back for the final time Annemiek van Vleuten, riding for Mitchelton-SCOTT, put in her trademark solo attack before being pegged back by Anna van der Berggen. The World Champion and European champion didn’t work together, having a quick chat and allowing the following group to close the 15 second gap.
It was on the Oude Kwaremont where Van den Broek-Blaak made the attack which she would not be pulled back from. As the road flattened out near the top of the climb, Van den Broek-Blaak accelerated away to a 5 second advantage as she turned off the climb. No one in the following group would catch her and it was job done by the Boels Dolmans team.
As for British rider, the highest placed rider was Abby-Mae Parkinson for Lotto Soudal Ladies finishing in 41st, closely followed home by Hannah Barnes, Canyon-Sram Racing, in 46. Lizzy Deignan, Trek-Segafredo Women, after riding in the main bunch for most of the race ended her season with a DNF, after a very successful season it’s a shame Lizzie couldn’t push on for the win at The Tour of Flanders but it seems this race was not in Lizzie’s legs as she was dropped far from the line.
However todays result belongs to Van den Broek-Blaak who is celebrating her first Tour of Flanders victory in her eleventh participation of the race.