World champion Van der Breggen wins opening classic for second time
After her first win in 2015, world champion Van der Breggen today won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for the second time in her career. She rode solo to the finish and was joined on the podium by Jorgensen and Pieters.
At 1:45 pm the women started their 124 km long opening classic in Ghent. After only 4km it was time for the first breakaway. Claudia Jongerius (Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire), Elizabeth Bennett (Drops-Le Col supported by Tempur) and Kylie Waterreus (Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team) determined the first hours of the race. At one point their lead increased to more than 5 minutes.
When the hill zone arrived, the peloton came closer meter after meter. With less than 40 km to go, the story of the early breakaway was over, they were caught just before the duo Haaghoek-Leberg. Where the peloton broke into two with at the front a group with strong names like Van der Breggen (Team SD Worx), Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), Belgian champion Kopecky (Liv Racing), Bastianelli (Ale' BTC Ljubljana), Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), Brown (Team BikeExchange) and Niewiadoma (Canyon Racing). Missing from that group were last year's winner Van Vleuten (Movistar Team Women) and Jolien D'Hoore (Team SD Worx).
(continue reading below the picture)
We waited for an attack until Elverenberg, where Dutch rider Vollering (Team SD Worx) took her chance. She rode solo for just over 12 km until Italian Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) accelerated on the Muur van Geraardsbergen. It was world champion Van der Breggen, Vollering's teammate, who reacted and neutralised Longo Borghini's attack. However, Vollering's lead dwindled and she was soon caught by the chasers.
On the last slope of the day, the Bosberg, the moment of the world champion had arrived. She accelerated and began a 12 km solo. After a strong piece of teamwork, the world champion took off alone in search of her second victory in the opening classic. She had plenty of time to celebrate at the finish line in Ninove. Danish rider Jorgensen (Movistar Team Women) and Dutch rider Pieters, teammate of Van der Breggen, completed the podium.