Ruth Winder snatches photo-finish victory at Brabantse Pijl

Well-timed bike-throw delivers victory for Trek-Segafredo star out of a small breakaway group at the Flemish race.

Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

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U.S. champion Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) snatched a dramatic photo-finish victory over Demi Vollering (SD Worx) at Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday.

Vollering looked like she had won ahead of Winder after coming from a long way back in a six-up sprint, and even celebrated as she crossed the line.

The race jury didn’t agree, and after an official review, awarded the victory to the Trek-Segafredo sprinter, who was shocked to find herself the winner.

“I’m extremely surprised. I came to this race really wanting to be my best and in the end, it played really well for me,” Winder said. “In the end, I thought Demi had it. I was sprinting and I threw my bike, but she celebrated and I thought she’d won.”

An early celebration

The race came down to a six-rider breakaway, which pulled clear at the start of the final local lap.

Italian sprinter and favorite from the group Elisa Balsamo (Valcar-Travel & Service) opened up the sprint early with about 250m to go. The effort of the race’s 22 climbs had clearly taken a toll, and she faded to third place.

Winder bided her time, only pouncing with less than 100 meters to the line. Vollering, who was on Balsamo’s wheel, powered around the fading Italian and mounted a serious challenge to Winder’s acceleration.

In the end, it all came down to the dive for the line. Winder blinked first, but it was Vollering who was sure that she had taken the win, throwing her arm up in celebration. She was even congratulated by her teammates.

“I am very disappointed. I had the feeling that I won this sprint. Apparently not. I don’t know if it was the jump, but it is almost impossible to see in the pictures,” Vollering said. “During the race, I thought something was going to happen, so I had to stay at the front. I was glad we could stay away.

It was only when the results flashed up on television screens that it became clear Winder had won her first race since last year’s women’s Santos Tour Down Under.

“Every climb I set the pace high with the group and tried to set up good cooperation with the other girls. I am glad it worked out.”

Aggressive racing

After several early attacks failed to stick, the pressure from the big teams really ramped up after the halfway point. A dangerous-looking group, which included Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SD Worx), Coryn Rivera (Team DSM), and Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) jumped clear with 40 kilometers remaining.

It was deemed too dangerous by the teams left behind and the move lasted less than four kilometers.

Each climb presented another opportunity for a break to form, but it wasn’t until the start of the final lap that the winning move was able to go clear. Team BikeExchange and FDJ were among those that missed the split and both teams tried to send riders across the gap to no avail.

The leading six worked well together, building a gap of about a minute as they went into the final kilometer.

Brabantse Pijl WE Results

1EDWARDS RuthTrek-Segafredo Women3:20:00
2VOLLERING DemiTeam SD Worx0:00
3BALSAMO ElisaValcar - Travel & Service0:00
4THOMAS LeahMovistar Team0:00
5LOWDEN JoscelinDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.0:00
6LABOUS JulietteTeam DSM0:06
7MOOLMAN AshleighTeam SD Worx0:57
8FAHLIN EmiliaFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope0:57
9BRAND LucindaTrek-Segafredo Women0:57
10ROOIJAKKERS PaulienaLiv Racing0:57
11WILES TaylerTrek-Segafredo Women0:57
12GUAZZINI VittoriaValcar - Travel & Service0:57
13STULTIENS SabrinaLiv Racing0:57
14AMIALIUSIK AlenaCanyon//SRAM Racing0:57
15SIERRA ArlenisA.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team0:57
16DE JONG ThalitaBingoal Casino - Chevalmeire Cycling Team 0:57
17STEPHENS LaurenTeam TIBCO - SVB0:57
18AALERUD KatrineMovistar Team0:57
19SANTESTEBAN AneTeam BikeExchange0:57
20LUTRO AmalieTeam Coop - Hitec Products0:57
21BORGHESI LetiziaAromitalia - Basso Bikes - Vaiano0:57
22MEERTENS LoneLotto Soudal Ladies0:57
23DEMEY ValerieLiv Racing0:57
24MERINO EiderA.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team0:57
25FISHER-BLACK NiamhTeam SD Worx0:57
26SHARPE AmeliaNXTG Racing0:57
27SHACKLEY AnnaTeam SD Worx0:57
28WILLIAMS GeorgiaTeam BikeExchange0:57
29HEINE VitaMassi - Tactic Women Team0:57
30RAGUSA KatiaA.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team0:57
31BREDEWOLD MischaParkhotel Valkenburg0:57
32GIGANTE SarahTeam TIBCO - SVB0:57
33JASKULSKA MartaLiv Racing0:57
34SALAZAR Lizbeth YareliA.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team0:57
35ENSING JannekeTeam BikeExchange0:57
36VAN VLEUTEN AnnemiekMovistar Team0:57
37VAN ANROOIJ ShirinTrek-Segafredo Women0:57
38LABECKI CorynTeam DSM0:57
39HANSON LaurettaTrek-Segafredo Women0:57
40VAN DEN BROEK-BLAAK ChantalTeam SD Worx0:57
41BRADBURY NeveCanyon//SRAM Racing0:57
42VAN DE VEL SaraTeam Rupelcleaning0:57
43KERN ŠpelaMassi - Tactic Women Team1:05
44KENNEDY LucyTeam BikeExchange1:05
46PEPERKAMP EsméeTeam DSM1:09
47SOTO Catalina AnaisNXTG Racing1:11
48ERIĆ JelenaMovistar Team1:11
49PENTON SaraDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.1:18
50LE NET MarieFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope1:18
51DUVAL EugénieFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope1:23
52PLUIMERS IlseNXTG Racing2:21
53KULYNYCH OlhaDoltcini - Van Eyck - Proximus CT2:21
54HARRIS EllaCanyon//SRAM Racing2:21
55SHARPE AliceTeam Rupelcleaning2:21
56VAN DER HULST AmberParkhotel Valkenburg2:21
57MARKUS FemkeParkhotel Valkenburg2:21
58ČEŠULIENĖ IngaAromitalia - Basso Bikes - Vaiano2:21
59KIRCHMANN LeahTeam DSM2:21
60VAN VELZEN BryonyDoltcini - Van Eyck - Proximus CT2:21
61GERRITSE FemkeParkhotel Valkenburg2:21
62GASPARRINI Eleonora CamillaValcar - Travel & Service2:21
63TENNIGLO MoniekTeam BikeExchange2:21
64VAN EYNDE FienDoltcini - Van Eyck - Proximus CT2:21
65NOSKOVÁ NikolaTeam SD Worx2:21
66MUZIC ÉvitaFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope2:21
67HARVEY MikaylaCanyon//SRAM Racing3:08
68BORGSTRÖM JuliaNXTG Racing3:40
69PARKINSON Abby MaeLotto Soudal Ladies5:24
70POLLICINI SilviaValcar - Travel & Service5:24
71GROSSETÊTE MaëlleFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope7:49
72DE WILDE JulieBelgium11:11
73COLJÉ MaaikeMassi - Tactic Women Team11:11
74VAN 'T GELOOF MarjoleinDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.11:11
75VANDENBULCKE JesseLotto Soudal Ladies11:11
76VANDER SANDE EliseLotto Soudal Ladies11:11
77WATERREUS KylieMultum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team11:11
78BEX NathalieBingoal Casino - Chevalmeire Cycling Team 11:11
79NOOIJEN LiekeParkhotel Valkenburg11:11
80VAN DER WOLF RosalieMultum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team11:11
81SPEROTTO Maria VittoriaA.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team11:11
82DELBAERE FienMultum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team11:11
83BETZ SvenjaTeam Rupelcleaning11:11
84GHEKIERE JustineBingoal Casino - Chevalmeire Cycling Team 11:11
85VAN HOUTUM CélineMultum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team11:11
86LUDWIG HannahCanyon//SRAM Racing11:11
87NEWSOM EmilyTeam TIBCO - SVB11:11
88GUILMAN VictorieFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope11:11
89ŽIGART UrškaTeam BikeExchange11:11
90CHRISTIAN AnnaDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.11:11
91ANDERSSON CarolineTeam Coop - Hitec Products11:11
92STEIGENGA NicoleDoltcini - Van Eyck - Proximus CT11:11
93ARZUFFI Alice MariaValcar - Travel & Service11:11
94MAGRI SilviaValcar - Travel & Service11:11
95DE SMEDT MarijkeMultum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team11:11
96BERTEAU VictoireDoltcini - Van Eyck - Proximus CT11:11
97MOBERG EmilieDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.11:11
98KESSLER NinaTeam TIBCO - SVB11:11
99PLICHTA AnnaLotto Soudal Ladies11:11
100LELEIVYTĖ RasaAromitalia - Basso Bikes - Vaiano11:11
101BÄCKSTEDT ElynorTrek-Segafredo Women11:20
102SOEK JuliaTeam DSM11:20
103OLAUSSON WilmaTeam DSM11:20
104DE JONG DemiBingoal Casino - Chevalmeire Cycling Team 11:20

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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