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by Shane Stokes
March 26, 2018
Three Pete: Sagan holds off Viviani to take a third Gent-Wevelgem title; Bastianelli wins women’s Gent-Wevelgem; Yates wins final stage of Volta a Catalunya, Valverde takes overall; Ovechkin wins Tour de Langkawi, Guardini takes final stage; Rosa wins Settimana Coppi e Bartali, Tratnik best in final TT; Harper, Lucas win Oceania cycling championships; Bernal crashes out of Volta a Catalunya while in second overall, Martin also falls; Video: Amazing Cycling Descents – Sagan, Nibali, Cancellara
Former world champion Marta Bastianelli (Alé Cipollini) won Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, beating Jolien D’hoore (Mitchelton Scott), Lisa Klein (Canyon-SRAM Racing), Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team) and over 20 others in the gallop to the line. D’hoore was emotional after her near miss, having also taken second last year, but has the consolation of becoming the new leader of the UCI WorldTour.
“This win shows how intense the winter preparation was,” Bastianelli said. “I want to dedicate it to my teammates, the staff and my family. I am a mum and it is a harder work to do, that’s a bigger win. Chloe [Hosking] was extraordinary in the final 500 meters. I launched myself 200 meters later and I won. It’s one of the greatest days of my career.”
The result sees her third in the WorldTour rankings while Hosking – who placed 25th after doing so much work for her teammate – is fifth.
The climbs and gravel roads on the course reduced the list of contenders and then, on the second of two ascents of the Kemmelberg, a key move went clear with a little under 40 kilometres left to race. A total of 16 riders forged ahead, including D’hoore, but Bastianelli and Hosking had missed the split. Their group was however able to return, and both riders made the cut when Team Sunweb and Boels-Dolmans hit the jets in the crosswinds.
A succession of attacks followed, including one by Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb) close to the finish. This was however brought back, then Hosking led out Bastianelli for the win. “A fantastic season start has been crowned today” said Team Manager Fortunato Lacquaniti. “A perfect race and a legendary win in a mythical Ghent – Wevelgem. We are so strong, let’s celebrate this win!”