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by Mark Zalewski
April 20, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Valverde takes record fifth Flèche Wallonne with characteristic surge; Anna van der Breggen pulls a hattrick in Flèche Wallonne; Thomas leads 1-2 Sky finish in Tour of the Alps, taking over race lead; Durasek wins snow-shortened stage at Tour of Croatia and takes lead; From hip fracture to Ardennes Classics contention: Ashleigh Moolman Pasio’s fight back from injury; Leif Hoste wins appeal against fine in doping case; Terpstra resumes training; Cycling safety advocate killed in collision with vehicle; Full Cycle returns to Australian TV from tonight; Video: La Flèche Wallonne highlights; Video: Why is it so hot inside a velodrome?; Video: Cycling South America.
Having said beforehand she didn’t necessarily needed to win Flèche Wallonne herself, but was eager for her new team Boels-Dolmans to get their first victory in this race, it was the Olympic and European champ Anna van der Breggen who took the victory for a third time in a row, attacking from a lead group of three in the same spot as last year. As teammate Lizzie Deignan took second place and Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Pro Cycling), who took the initiative for this final three-woman break, won third, it was a familiar podium in Flèche Wallonne, with the exact same podium as in the Amstel Gold Race.
“We had a plan and it worked,” were the simple words of Van der Breggen after the finish.
“We celebrate this one, have an easy day tomorrow and then put the foot down again… I never had any doubt,” added Boels-Dolmans DS Danny Stam, elated with his new pupil’s second win in the so important Ardennes week.
“We were not happy with how Amstel Gold Race went,” said a less elated DS, Thomas Campana of Cervélo-Bigla. “Boels is back to full strength, which makes it hard to just wait and try to beat them.”
“We wanted to animate the race and go through a tactic that will take some effort out of their top riders, and open the final earlier than everyone expected. We only had five riders and that was an amazing team performance,” said Cervélo-Bigla DS Thomas Campana after the race.