Wiebes takes first WorldTour victory for Team Sunweb at De Panne

by Abby Mickey


The final Women’s World Tour one day race of the year was also the first pancake flat race of the season. AG Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne ended in a small bunch sprint won by Lorena Wiebes (Team Sunweb) after Jolien d’Hoore (Boels-Dolmans) was relegated for deviating from her sprint line.

With D’Hoore relegated to last in the group, Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT) finished in second, followed by Lotte Kopecky in third (Lotto Soudal Ladies).

How it happened

A slightly windy and slightly wet morning met the peloton in Brugge for the final Women’s World Tour one day of the 2020 season. For the first time in the re-constructed calendar, the completely flat parcourse flavored the sprinters, but it would be for not. As the course wrapped around the coast of Belgium, the wind would play a pivotal role in the outcome of the race.

This was the third edition of the AG Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, the previous two won by strong sprinters. The first two editions of the race both came down to bunch sprints won by Kristen Wild in 2019 and Jolien d’Hoore in 2018.

Crashes and crosswinds were the biggest players of the day. Before 62 km to go the peloton had remained compact but entering the final 62 km the splits started to show. With the peloton split in two, the attacks started coming, led by Parkhotel Valkenburg.

Team Sunweb and Boels-Dolmans, both teams friendly with the crosswinds, decided to fracture the peloton a little more. They succeeded in whittling down the front of the race to only 35 riders, and then as the race hit more crosswinds the pressure from Boels-Dolamsn left only 17 riders in front.

Inside the final 5 km, multiple riders tried their hand at a solo move, including Ellen van Dijk and Elisa Longo Borghini of Trek-Segafredo, but Team Sunweb controlled the attempts to lead out Wiebes for the sprint.

Team Sunweb pulled together an impressive lead out given the reduced nature of the bunch but D’Hoore was the first to launch her sprint. As Wiebes tried to come around D’Hoore on the left side D’Hoore moved to push Wiebes closer to the barriers. The sprint was a photo finish, although D’Hoore did raise one arm, but the jury religated D’Hoore for her swervy maneuver and Wiebes walked away as the winner.

“I started a second too late. D’Hoore blocked me a little and I lost some speed”, Wiebes said after the finish. “Then I still went full gas in my sprint because it’s only over when the finish line is there. I noticed she deviated. This is sprinting but we have seen how this can end with Fabio. There were lots of attacks in the final. The team did a great job of controlling. We had to change our lead-out but it all panned out fine”.

Results

1. Lorena Wiebes (Team Sunweb) 3:39:43
2. Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling) st
3. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal Ladies) st
4. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott) st
5. Sofia Bertizzolo (CCC-Liv) st
6. Alice Barnes (Canyon//SRAM Racing) st
7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) st
8. Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) st
9. Alison Jackson (Team Sunweb) st
10. Eugénie Duval (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) st

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