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It might have been the very first springlike day in Belgium, with temperatures reaching 20 degrees Celsius, that didn’t make yesterday’s Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) any less difficult. Although the first part of the race was quite uneventful, the tempo picked up after seventy minutes, never to slow down again.
Just ahead of the second-to-last climb on the course, the Oude Kwaremont, Emma Johansson (Wiggle-High5) accelerated and got Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) in her wheel. The duo broke free of a chase group on the cobbled climb and was never to be seen again.
Well, that’s not exactly true, as the eight chasers got really close to the two in the final straight towards the finish line, almost catching them.
It came down to a head to head on the finish line for Johansson and Armitstead, and after consultation of the finish photo, it was Armitstead taking that very much sought after win in Flanders.
If you’d like to know more about everything that happened in the race, read our Ronde van Vlaanderen report or scroll through our gallery of photo’s by the wonderful Sean Robinson of Velofocus. Be sure to scroll down to the Wiggle-High5 video of this race plus the official UCI highlights video of the 2016 Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres WE (1.WWT)
Oudenaarde → Oudenaarde
World champion Lizzie Armitstead’s bike basks in the sunshine at the start of the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Fans old and young at the start of the Ronde van Vlaanderen in Oudenaarde.
Italian riders Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) catch up ahead of sign in.
Liv Plantur sign in for Ronde van Vlaanderen, with Floortje Mackaij in the UCI Women’s WorldTour young rider jersey.
World Champion Lizzie Armitstead and her Boels-Dolmans teammates are presented to the crowds in Oudenaarde.
The peloton wait for the start to be given after one minute of silence for riders Antoine Demoitié and Daan Myngheer, who passed away last week because of cycling related injuries.
Janicke Gunvaldsen (Team Hitec) takes a tumble, but is quick to chase back. She would soon have to leave the race though.
Wiggle-High5 regroup after early issues for 2015 winner Elisa Longo Borghini.
Trying to get into an early break, but the peloton don’t let anyone get too far away for the first hour of racing.
Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) well positioned on the Molenberg, following the wheel of Lauren Kitchen (Team Hitec).
The peloton climbs through the Flandrian countryside.
Thalita de Jong (Rabo-Liv) is the first one to build a sizeable gap, in a solo break.
Iris Slappendel (United Healthcare) chases Thalita de Jong (Rabo-Liv) across the cobbles, but wouldn’t able to reach her before the peloton reeled her back in.
Sara Rijkes of Lares-Waowdeals working hard to stay in the wheel of the rider in front of her.
It’s the worst possible moment for a puncture for Ashleigh Moolman (Cervélo-Bigla) as the race heads for the hills.
Belgian champion Jolien D’Hoore (Wiggle-High5) in the bunch. She didn’t make it into the front group and finished in 27th place.
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv) leads up the Kanarieberg, with Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) controlling the race for Armitstead.
Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) was the designated wind shield for teammate Lizzie Armitstead, but seems to have lost her for a second at this point.
British fans ready to cheer Lizzie Armitstead up Oude Kwaremont.
Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-AIS) leads the chase of Emma Johansson and Lizzie Armitstead on the Oude Kwaremont.
Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-SRAM) takes on Oude Kwaremont, but can’t follow Johansson and Armitstead, or the chase group that formed on that climb. She finished 17th, which was the best result for the team in Flanders.
Emma Johansson (Wiggle-High5) takes a turn on the front as she and Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) ride away from the competition.
Working together with a little over 5 kilometers to go in the Ronde van Vlaanderen: Lizzie Armitstead and Emma Johansson.
Lizzie Armitstead catches her breathe as the win in the Ronde van Vlaanderen sinks in.
Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) rehydrates after a hot spring day of racing in Flanders.
Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) recovers after a bad day of racing for the team. Joëlle Numainville was their best placed rider in 18th place.
A great debut in 2016 at the Ronde van Vlaanderen for Drops Cycling team, with Laura Massey and Jennifer George finishing 75 and 76.
“It’s your fault if you waste it Chantal, I’m drinking mine!”
Ronde van Vlaanderen 2016 top three: Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Johansson and Chantal Blaak.
After a top 10 position in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) is back in the UCI Women’s WorldTour young rider jersey.
Lizzie Armitstead takes back the lead in the UCI Women’s WorldTour from her teammate, Chantal Blaak.
Felix Mattis talks us through the 2016 Ronde van Vlaanderen in the official UCI highlights video of the race:
Here’s how Wiggle-High5 and Emma Johansson have experienced the 2016 Ronde van Vlaanderen:
The UCIWWT standings after the Ronde
General classification 1. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) – 368 points
2. Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) – 343 points
3. Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) – 285 points