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by Matt de Neef
April 3, 2017
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Philippe Gilbert wins the Tour of Flanders with thrilling 55km solo move; Coryn Rivera becomes first American to win the Tour of Flanders; Rare victory for Rory Sutherland at Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja; Simon Yates victorious at GP Miguel Indurain; Sagan and Vanmarcke crash out of Flanders; Double mechanical ruins Boonen’s Flandrian fairytale; Gilbert outlines dream of winning all five Monuments; Mixed reception to Muur’s Flanders return; Vinokourov and Kolobnev to face court in May over Liege corruption allegation; Fallen endurance racer Mike Hall honoured in tribute rides.
Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) made history on Sunday when she became the first ever American to win the Tour of Flanders. The 14th edition of the women’s event came down to a nail-biter of a finale when a four-person breakaway was caught in the final kilometre of the race, prompting a mass sprint of around 20 women.
At the line, American Coryn Rivera outsprinted Australian Gracie Elvin (Orica-Scott) and Dutch favourite Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans), the pint-sized American taking her second Women’s WorldTour win in what has become a true breakout season.
“Unbelievable. I can’t begin to explain yet … It feels like I’m in a dream,” Rivera said. “The team gave everything on the Kwaremont to get the group back at the wheel and we almost closed it, but in the end we couldn’t follow the four best climbers. From the moment that Hans [Timmermans] made the call to go full gas for me, Ellen [van Dijk] took charge of the pace. The sprint was absolutely thrilling, but I still feel like I am dreaming.”
It was on the Kruisberg climb that the day’s most promising move formed, with Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Pro Cycling), Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5), Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) getting clear. The victory looked to be coming from the quartet, but a hard chase in the closing kilometres saw a chase group catch back on, setting up a thrilling final sprint.