In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Michael Valgren wins the men’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad; Christina Siggaard a surprise winner in the women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad; Dylan Groenewegen takes out Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne; Alejandro Valverde victorious at the Abu Dhabi Tour; Ellen van Dijk rides to Omloop van het Hageland victory; Hannah Barnes wins the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana; Astana in doubt due to ‘critical’ funding issues; Martin Vestby joins Mitchelton-Scott women’s team as sports director; Dumoulin’s Abu Dhabi dummy-spit; Photo galleries from NAHBS.
Valgren wins Het Nieuwsblad, Valverde shines in Abu Dhabi: Daily News Digest
In the women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, little-known Dane Christina Siggaard (Team Virtu Cycling) would ride to her first professional victory at the head of a lead group of 25 riders. The 23-year-old proved to have the strongest sprint at the end of 122.1km, crossing the line ahead of Alexis Ryan (Canyon-SRAM) and Maria Confalonieri (Valcar-PBM). Among the big names in the leading group were Chloe Hosking (Ale Cipollini), Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) and Jolien d’Hoore (Mitchelton-Scott).
“It’s a dream come true,” Siggaard said. “Sometimes everything just comes together; riders, team and sponsors, that’s what makes this great.”
After an early breakaway was caught, and a few other moves were neutralised, a strong group of nine got clear and quickly built a 50-second lead. With Hosking, Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5), Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) and Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) among those in the move, and with all major teams represented, it looked like the winning group.
But the move would be neutralised as the Muur van Geraadsbergen loomed. The iconic climb then split the race, leaving 25 out front to contest the victory.