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by Matt de Neef
February 26, 2018
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.
Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb) has won the 2018 Omloop van het Hageland after an impressive solo attack inside the final six kilometres of the 131km race. The former time trial world champion was able to hold off a chasing group of roughly 25 riders, as Chloe Hosking (Ale Cipollini) and Jolien d’Hoore (Mitchelton-Scott) rounded out the podium from that group, 12 seconds behind van Dijk.
Van Dijk made her move on a climb in the final of six finishing circuits, getting away on her own before putting her head down. Her lead never got to more than 15 seconds, but that was enough to power to victory in her second race of the year.
“The team was really incredible today, everyone did their job perfectly,” van Dijk said. “We were constantly attacking all race and it was my job to just stay calm. The girls did a super strong lead-out onto the last climb and nobody could follow us.
“From then it was all or nothing and I knew I just had to keep riding to the finish and not look back. There was a really hard crosswind section on the open fields and I realised it would be really hard to stay away by myself, but I just carried on and it paid off. I’m really happy to finish off the team’s hard work today with the win.”