World Champion Annemiek van Vleuten impresses at opening classic
Omloop het Nieuwsblad for Women Elite was up to its 15th edition. With world champion Annemiek van Vleuten, the organization has got its dream winner. The 37-year-old world champion impressively broke away from the leading group on the Muur van Geraardsbergen and soloed to the finish in Ninove. The Italian rider Bastianelli sprinted to the second place, before another Dutchwoman, Floortje Mackaij.
The wind and rain played an important role. At about 50 km to the finish, an important breakaway of 21 riders was formed. The biggest names: titleholder Chantal Blaak, Christine Majerus, Marta Bastianelli, Ellen van Dijk, but also world champion Annemiek van Vleuten.
The leading group gained a comfortable advantage and it soon became clear that the winner found herself in this group. Ruth Winder opened the final with an attempt to break away, but the riders clearly wanted to wait for the combination Muur van Geraardsbergen – Bosberg.
That turned out to be the perfect spot for Annemiek van Vleuten to go all the way. The world champion dashed off and was able to create a gap. The Dutch Mitchelton-Scott rider did not look back anymore and flashed over the Bosberg heading to Ninove, where she could finally, at her 11th attempt, realize her first win in Omloop het Nieuwsblad. The Italian Marta Bastianelli became second, Floortje Mackaij could join the podium as the number three.