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World champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked on the fabled Muur van Geraardsbergen and rode to a solo victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Marta Bastiannelli (Ale BTC Ljubljana) sprinted from a small group behind to take second, just ahead of Floortje Makaij (Sunweb) and Chantal Van den Broek-Blaak (Boels-Dolmans).
“If you win solo you can really enjoy the last kilometres and I really enjoyed those moments today, it is my first win here and in the rainbow jersey is an incredible feeling,” van Vleuten said.
Van Vleuten made her move from a large group on the first steep section of the Muur, and the rest of the field had no answer. Makaij tried to follow, and stayed close for much of the climb, but by the chapel at the top was back with a select chase group.
The gap was still tight at the Bosberg, but the whittled-down chasing group never again made contact. In the end, it was a 17-kilometer solo effort for the world champion.
“At one point when I was solo coming into the final my director Martin (Vestby) said the time gap was 30seconds but then I started to doubt if he said 30 or 13seconds, so that made me a little bit insecure in the final kilometres,” van Vleuten said.
“I felt like maybe I was losing time and they were chasing really hard behind me, but then I just looked a little bit to my watts on my Garmin and could see I had a lot of power, so I knew they need to chase really hard to catch me.”
— Mitchelton-SCOTT (@MitcheltonSCOTT) February 29, 2020
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott)
2. Marta Bastianelli (Ale BTC Ljubljana)
3. Floortje Mackaij (Sunweb)
4. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Boels-Dolmans)
5. Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo)
6. Lizzy Banks (Bigla-Katusha)
7. Eugenia Bujak (Alé- BTC Ljubljana)
8. Chloe Hosking (Rally Cycling)
9. Jip van den Bos (Boels-Dolmans)
10. Aude Biannic (Movistar)