VeloClub is CyclingTips’ membership program which brings us closer to our members, and connects likeminded cycling enthusiasts.
by Shane Stokes
February 28, 2018
Terpstra wins Le Samyn ahead of Gilbert and Gaudin; Ensing beats Mackaij and Kitchen to win Le Samyn des Dames; Lappartient floats possibility that Giro and Vuelta could be shortened; Following near-misses, Van Avermaet determined to finally win Strade Bianche; Details of 2018 Hammer Series announced, second event added to programme; French wing of bike hire company stops due to crime; Video: Groenewegen: Podium of jodium; Video: Bardiani-CSF at the Abu Dhabi Tour; Video: Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever:” Pike’s Peak
While the men’s Le Samyn was won in a solo victory, the women’s event was a lot closer together. Dutchwoman Janneke Ensing (Ale Cipollini) proved best out of a six woman break, reaching the line four seconds clear of her compatriot Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb Women), Australia’s Lauren Kitchen (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Soraya Paladin (Ale Cipollini).
Natalie van Gogh (Parkhotel Valkenberg) was eight second back in fifth while Sheyla Gutierrez (Cylance Pro Cycling) was a further 22 seconds down.
Like the men, the women faced freezing conditions for their 103 kilometre race. Leaving Quaregnon, they faced a dozen sectors of cobbles plus some undulating roads. The course saw an early hewing down of the number of those in contention, with subsequent attacks further reduding the list of those in contention.
A breakaway group got clear inside the final half hour of racing and these were able to fend off a hard-chasing bunch. The latter group looked like it might bridge, but finally the break stayed away and Ensing was able to win.
“Four successes in less than two months, they were incredible,” said the team manager Fortunato Lacquaniti. “We are competitive on every field with all the strongest athletes in the world. This 2018 could not have started better. I’m really proud of the team, the staff and the whole club.”