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After winning all the Ardennes Classics in 2017 (and most of the major races on the women’s calendar in general these past few years), a victory at the iconic Tour of Flanders was one of the few items still missing from Anna van der Breggen’s incredible palmares. But the Olympic champion chose to rectify that over the weekend, and she did so with pure dominance.
Proving once again that she is the absolute best soloist in women’s cycling, Van der Breggen attacked with a little over 20 kilometres to go, and conquered the remaining two climbs, sidewinds and long straight-aways by her lonesome.
The golden stripe on her helmet — the one that identifies her as the reigning Olympic champion — glistened and a smile crept up from underneath it. She crossed the line with a solid 1’20” gap over the peloton and plenty of time to celebrate.
Behind her, the sprint for second place was won by teammate Amy Pieters. And despite dislocating her shoulder in a crash earlier in the race, Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitcheton-SCOTT) hang in for third, rounding out the all-Dutch podium.
1. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans)
2. Amy Pieters (Boels-Dolmans)
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchel-SCOTT)
4. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cerveo-Bigla)
5. Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans)
From the rainy start to the wind swept farm roads and spectator-lined cobbled climbs, our photographers were on site to capture the action.
The Women’s WorldTour continues on April 15 with the first of the Ardennes Classics, the Amstel Gold Race, in The Netherlands.
3 March – Strade Bianche, Italy
11 March – Ronde Van Drenthe, The Netherlands
18 March – Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Italy
22 March – Driedaagse De Panne, Belgium
25 March – Ghent-Wevelgem, Belgium
1 April – Tour of Flanders, Belgium
15 April – Amstel Gold Race, The Netherlands
18 April – Flèche Wallonne, Belgium
22 April- Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Belgium
26-28 April – Tour of Chongming Island, China
17-19 May – Tour of California, USA
19-22 May – Emakumeen XXXI. Bira, Spain
13-17 June – Women’s Tour, Great Britain
6-15 July – Giro Rosa, Italy
17 July – La Course by Le Tour de France, France
28 July – RideLondon Classique, Great Britain
10 August – Vargarda team time trial, Sweden
12 August – Vargarda road race, Sweden
16-19 August – Ladies Tour of Norway, Norway
25 August – GP de Plouay – Lorient Agglomération, France
28 August – 2 September – Boels Ladies Tour, Netherlands
16 September – Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta, Spain
21 October – Tour of Guangxi, China