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by Matt de Neef
February 27, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Caleb Ewan wins Abu Dhabi Tour’s final stage as Rui Costa secures the overall; Greg van Avermaet wins men’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad; Lucinda Brand solos to victory in women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad; Peter Sagan bounces back to win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne; Ryan Gibbons bolsters Tour de Langkawi lead with stage 5 win; Jolien d’Hoore claims Omloop van het Hageland victory; Peter Sagan’s bizarre post-Het Nieuwsblad interview; On-board highlights from stage 2 of the Abu Dhabi Tour.
In the women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, run at the same time as the men’s, it was Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) that claimed a solo victory in what a Dutch domination of the top four spots on the podium. Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) was second and Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) was third, both finishing in a small group 15 seconds behind Brand.
The winning move was initiated by Brand’s teammate Ellen van Dijk and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) who got away after an earlier breakaway was caught. Blaak and Brand eventually bridged the gap of more than a minute to the two leaders and van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt (Orica-Scott) also came across. After several attacks in the lead group, Brand got away with roughly 5km to go and rode to a solo victory in her first race of the season.
“It was a really good day. The team were great and supporting me really well by keeping me out of the headwind,” Brand said. “The girls kept me in a great position, and we were in a perfect situation with Ellen up the road and good support behind. They helped me to maintain a good position ahead of the cobbles and climbs, so I didn’t have to do anything which was great.”
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