Elisa Balsamo pulls off the hat trick with win at Gent-Wevelgem

Marianne Vos and Maria Giulia Confalonieri finished second and third, respectively.

by Abby Mickey

photography by Getty Images

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

BALSAMO Elisa Trek - Segafredo
VOS Marianne Team Jumbo-Visma
CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling
KOPECKY Lotte Team SD Worx
NORSGAARD Emma Movistar Team
ANDERSEN Susanne Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
DRONOVA-BALABOLINA Tamara Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
PERSICO Silvia Valcar - Travel & Service
COPPONI Clara FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope

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