When the peloton lined up in Tielt, Belgium this morning, the mood was dampened by yesterday’s terrible events. And a minute of silence was held in honour of the 34 people who were killed in the terrorist bombings around Brussels, just 84 kilometers away.
Until late last night, it had been uncertain whether the race would continue due to safety concerns and teams unable to travel to the race venue or cancel out of a sign of respect.
But the organisers decided to move ahead with the race, and perhaps the race was exactly what was needed: a celebration of life and a message that terrorism cannot win.
As a prelude to the UCI ranking, which the women’s edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen will receive next year, the women’s race has already been upgraded from a number of a circuit-style race to a road race of just over 100 kilometers with the famous Nokereberg, Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg climbs in it.
Amy Pieters (Wiggle High5) managed to defend her last year’s victory, while her teammate and Belgian champion Jolien D’Hoore came in second for the one-two punch. Former Wigglette Eileen Roe (Lares-Waowdeals) rounded out the podium in third place.
Pieters, D’Hoore and Roe had been part of a 12-person breakaway that broke free on the cobbles of the Kwaremont climb. Yet a large chase group managed to join the break in the final two kilometres of the race. A mass sprint headed for the line with the two Wiggle High5 riders coming across the line first.
Check out all the action of today’s Dwars door Vlaanderen in this Velofocus photo gallery.
1. Amy Pieters (Wiggle High5)
2. Jolien D’Hoore (Wiggle High5)
3. Eileen Roe (Lares-Waowdeals)
4. Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur)
5. Anouk Rijff (Lotto-Soudal Ladies)
6. Annelies Dom (Lensworld-Zannata)
7. Kimberley Wells (High5 Australia Development team)
8. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal Ladies)
9. Kelly Druyts (Topsport Vlaanderen)
10. Camilla Möllebro (BMS Birn)