Elisa Balsamo won her third WorldTour race in a week on Sunday at Gent-Wevelgem. The world champion outsprinted Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) and Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ceratizit-WNT) to take another victory for Trek-Segafredo in Wevelgem.
A series of attacks peppered the circuits containing all seven of the crucial climbs of the day, but with multiple teams fielding top sprinters, the race remained intact. SD Worx and Canyon-SRAM in particular threw everything they had at the likes of Movistar, Trek-Segafredo, and Team DSM even after the climbing was done and dusted.
Into the final 20 km, the attacks from SD Worx were relentless, with Jumbo-Visma present in every move. Nothing stuck until 10 km to go when a large group of around 12 made their way off the front. Ellen van Dijk, who had made the selection, did her best to slow the group down but eventually sat up with 8.4 km to help her Trek-Segafredo teammates chase down the breakaway and within 800 meters the peloton was once more compact
With just over 3 km to go Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) took advantage of a rare lull to get some distance on the peloton. The teams left it up to Van Dijk and Riejanne Markus (Jumbo-Visma) to bring the Australian back and the duo succeeded in reeling Brown back in with just over 1 km to go.
Balsamo was out of teammates by the finishing straight but the world champion latched onto the wheel of Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx). As soon as the Belgian national champion launched her sprint Balsamo reacted. Behind, Vos faught to pass Confalonieri and Kopecky to finished second.
Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields WE (1.WWT) Ypres → Wevelgem