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by Shane Stokes
March 29, 2018
Lampaert wins Dwars door Vlaanderen; Van Dijk takes women’s Dwars door Vlaanderen; Benoot confident prior to Flanders: ‘I am in very good condition’; Vanmarcke has ‘worst feeling of Classics period,” yet nets third; Stapleton sceptical about past use of hidden motors, but says it is a ‘growing threat’; Video: Yves Lampaert – Post race interview – Dwars Door Vlaanderen 2018; Video: Dwars door Vlaanderen 2018 – Ellen Van Dijk’s Champagne Malfunction; Video: A Pro Cyclist’s rest day – Team Wiggins
Just as there was in the men’s event, the women’s Dwars door Vlaanderen featured a solo victory, but Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb Women) was more dominant than Yves Lampaert. The Dutchwoman went clear inside the final seven kilometres of the event and used her ability against the clock to reach the line 55 seconds clear of compatriots Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam) and Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb Women).
The chase group was completed by five others, namely Eugenia Bujak (BTC City Ljubljana), Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton Scott Women), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team), Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar Team Women) and Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM Racing).
“Today was a great race for the team. It’s really great to see how we turned things around after our bad luck this season,” van Dijk said. “Today was really a textbook race, and we did everything that we had planned to. The girls were always really well positioned and setting a hard pace on the climbs. Me and Floortje were in the 7-rider break and with 15 kilometres to go we just attacked and attacked, maybe 10 times in total.
“With 6 kilometres to go Floortje attacked, and I went directly after. I opened up a gap and gave it everything I had. The win is a great way to finish this perfect team work and with Floortje also finishing 3rd, the day couldn’t have gone any better. It gives us good confidence with Sunday in our minds.”
The race was thinned down dramatically by the Knoteberg climb, which came a little over two hours into the race. Van Dijk then jumped clear of this select group and despite some hard chasing behind, those trying to reel her in were unable to do so.