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by Matt de Neef
March 27, 2017
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Greg Van Avermaet wins men’s Gent-Wevelgem; Lotta Lepisto takes out women’s Gent-Wevelgem; Alejandro Valverde victorious in the Volta a Catalunya; Lilian Calmejane wins Coppi e Bartali; Edwin Avila takes opening-day honours in the Tour de Taiwan; Kristof Allegaert leads Indian Pacific Wheel Race towards Melbourne; Cadel Evans and George Hincapie win masters category at Cape Epic MTB race; Heinrich Haussler to miss the Spring Classics with ongoing knee injury; Bradley Wiggins on Sky’s ‘load of rubbish’ marginal gains philosophy; At 50, Mario Cipollini looks back on his career; Riders injured as car ‘drives into cycle race’ in Berlin; Trigger Happy’s angry cyclist on Comic Relief.
An exciting finale full of attacks ultimately led to nothing, and so it came down to a sprinters’ battle on round four of the Women’s WorldTour in sunny Flanders. In a photo finish, it was Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) who outsprinted hometown favourite Jolien D’Hoore (Wiggle-High5) and American pocket rocket Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) to win the 2017 women’s Gent-Wevelgem.
A front group of around 30 riders split off the front on the second time up the Monteberg climb, with all of the major favourites present. The first rider to try something from this front group was Cervélo-Bigla’s Marie Villman, a neopro from Denmark, but the attack was short-lived. It was the start of an episode of attacks, with none of them sticking. When a group of four — Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb), Elisa Longo Borghini (Boels-Dolmans), Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) and Katrin Garfoot (Orica-Scott) — got a little gap, it looked like it might be a group to stick.
But there were too many teams hoping for a bunch sprint, so this group got reeled back in as well. In the end a lead group of more than 30 readied itself for a bunch sprint where Finland’s Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) took the win.
“This race was my goal,” Lepistö said after the podium ceremony. “I was focussed on winning it. It’s a race that suits me and last year I was close, but made a mistake and I told myself that won’t happen again. So today I made sure I was in the front. Flanders is Flanders and anything can happen but this was my goal and we agreed to target today and I got it. I am really satisfied.”
The Women’s WorldTour stays in Belgium to take on the much coveted Tour of Flanders on April 2.
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