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by Shane Stokes
September 9, 2017
De Gendt wins stage 19 of the Vuelta a España; Ewan wins stage 6 of the Tour of Britain; In a big shake-up, Anouska Koster takes final stage win and overall in Lotto Belgium Tour; Contador: The podium is really far away; Armstrong’s trial delayed until 2018; Bike Channel UK confirms closure after failing to find a buyer; Race to the Rock: Hammond leads but Carlsson on the charge; Video: Stage 17 & 18 backstage pass, Vuelta a España; Video: Cycling Motivation – Greatness; Video: Warren Barguil – Emotions; Video: My Red Hook Crit Barcelona 2017 Disaster
In a surprising turn of events, Anouska Koster (WM3) powered to the final stage win of Lotto Belgium Tour, taking the GC win in the process.
All week long Marianne Vos (WM3) and Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle High 5) had been swapping the leader’s jersey and everyone expected the race to come down to a nail-biting finale between the two.
Wind, rain, and steep cobbled ascents were present making this finale all the more challenging, flemish style. Early on, a split of 11 formed, including big names such as Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High 5), Emilie Moberg (Norway), Ruth Winder (USA), Skylar Schneider (USA), and Koster. Later, both Vos and Coryn Rivera (USA) bridged to the leaders, and Rivera continued to go off the front with Koster. The duo was brought back, Winder countered, and Koster reacted. Koster’s persistence paid off as she attacked Winder in the final metres and crossed the line first.
“In the final, Winder tried to escape several times, but Anouska was simply very strong. She finished it off in the sprint and took a well-deserved victory”, said DS Jeroen Blijlevens. “Also the rest of the team should be praised. The girls have moved mountains.”
Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal Ladies) later crossed the line for third on the stage. Winder’s result moved her to second overall. After gaining some time on D’hoore, Vos stayed on the podium for third. D’hoore is best placed Belgian. Vita Hein maintained her lead in the mountains competition. Koster also holds the youth jersey, Vos won the points competition, and the whole of WM3 won the team competition, reflective of an excellent week of racing.