Seven in a row: Anna van der Breggen unstoppable at Women’s Flèche Wallonne

The world champion reigns supreme on the Mur de Huy to extend winning streak.

Photo: Getty Images

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) is unstoppable on the Mur de Huy.

The reigning world champion powered to an incredible seventh consecutive Flèche Wallonne victory Wednesday.

Van der Breggen measured her effort perfectly on the Mur de Huy to overcome a challenge from Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM). Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) rounded out the podium with third.

Niewiadoma rode side by side with van der Breggen into the final meters, trying to impose herself on the world champion. The Polish rider blinked first in the sprint for the line, but van der Breggen didn’t panic and made it look almost easy as she came home to extend her winning streak at the Belgian one-day race.

“I’m really happy that I could do it still and I could take this win for the team,” van der Breggen said after the race. “It was mostly about the Mur in the end, but the race was really hard from the beginning with all of the climbs.

“It’s a strange thought that I am sitting here for the last time at this race. Next year I won’t bother the girls anymore, it’s up to somebody else. I’m really happy to finish it off like this with seven straight wins.”

How it happened: Mur de Huy decides everything

Van der Breggen was part of a nine-rider group that hit the bottom of the Mur de Huy moments behind attacker Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo). Winder had gone clear of the group of favorites with 16km to go, but had just a few meters on it as she started climbing for the last time.

The peloton was decimated by a series of attacks over the final circuit. A decisive split happened as Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) put in a series of stinging efforts on the penultimate ascent of the Côte du chamin des Gueuses.

SD Worx was the only team to slot two riders into the move created by van Vleuten. With little cohesion in the group, Demi Vollering was forced to sacrifice herself for van der Breggen and bring back Winder.

“I think that we made some tactical mistakes in the race, so we needed to chase, but the team did really great to fix that. In the end, Demi closed the gap. That was incredible,” said van der Breggen.

Van der Breggen: ‘I’m happy that I could win this one’

“We needed to chase quite a lot and we didn’t have control the whole race. There was a bit more pressure also for me because the girls worked so hard already, and I just had to give it my all on the Mur. It was a real battle with Kasia, she was strong but I’m really happy that I could win this one.”

The group splintered almost instantaneously as it hit the bottom of the Mur de Huy. Confident in her ability to master the climb, van der Breggen set the pace on its steep slopes with only Niewiadoma able to match her.

Perhaps in an attempt to get inside her rival’s head, Niewiadoma rode on the shoulder of van der Breggen into the final 300 meters. The Dutch rider remained calm throughout and pulled clear of Niewiadoma with relative ease to take yet another victory at Flèche Wallonne.

Behind the pair, Longo Borghini surged past van Vleuten right on the line to claim the final spot on the podium. Van Vleuten seemed unaware that the Italian was coming up behind her and eased up her pace on the line.

La Flèche Wallonne Féminine Results

1VAN DER BREGGEN AnnaTeam SD Worx3:28:27
2NIEWIADOMA KatarzynaCanyon//SRAM Racing0:02
3LONGO BORGHINI ElisaTrek-Segafredo Women0:06
4VAN VLEUTEN AnnemiekMovistar Team0:06
5GARCÍA MaviAlé BTC Ljubljana0:22
6LABOUS JulietteTeam DSM0:28
7EDWARDS RuthTrek-Segafredo Women0:31
8LUDWIG Cecilie UttrupFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope0:32
9SPRATT AmandaTeam BikeExchange0:35
10VOLLERING DemiTeam SD Worx0:42
11VOS MarianneTeam Jumbo-Visma Women1:32
12MOOLMAN AshleighTeam SD Worx1:36
13MAGNALDI EricaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling1:38
14DOEBEL-HICKOK KristaRally Cycling Women1:39
15AALERUD KatrineMovistar Team1:42
16THOMAS LeahMovistar Team1:42
17FAULKNER KristenTeam TIBCO - SVB1:43
18STULTIENS SabrinaLiv Racing1:45
19KENNEDY LucyTeam BikeExchange1:48
20MUZIC ÉvitaFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope1:50
21NOVOLODSKAIA MariaA.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team1:53
22CHAPMAN BrodieFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope1:55
23BRAND LucindaTrek-Segafredo Women2:03
24CHABBEY EliseCanyon//SRAM Racing2:06
25HARVEY MikaylaCanyon//SRAM Racing2:07
26PALADIN SorayaLiv Racing2:21
27SANTESTEBAN AneTeam BikeExchange2:21
28NILSSON HannaLotto Soudal Ladies3:20
29LÉVÉNEZ SandraArkéa Pro Cycling Team3:20
30FISHER-BLACK NiamhTeam SD Worx3:23
31ENSING JannekeTeam BikeExchange3:23
32VAN DE VELDE JulieTeam Jumbo-Visma Women3:23
33KOSTER AnouskaTeam Jumbo-Visma Women3:27
34WILES TaylerTrek-Segafredo Women3:27
35SHACKLEY AnnaTeam SD Worx3:30
36KOPPENBURG ClaraRally Cycling Women3:36
37MALCOTTI BarbaraValcar - Travel & Service3:39
38MERINO EiderA.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team3:45
39AMIALIUSIK AlenaCanyon//SRAM Racing3:57
40LABECKI CorynTeam DSM5:11
41CANUEL Karol-AnnTeam SD Worx5:17
42SIERRA ArlenisA.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team5:17
43DE JONG ThalitaBingoal Casino - Chevalmeire Cycling Team 5:17
44LOWDEN JoscelinDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.5:25
45RAAIJMAKERS MaritParkhotel Valkenburg5:30
46REUSSER MarlenAlé BTC Ljubljana5:30
47STEPHENS LaurenTeam TIBCO - SVB5:35
48JACKSON AlisonLiv Racing5:37
49HAMMES KathrinCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling5:42
50SHAPIRA OmerCanyon//SRAM Racing5:42
51JOUNIER LucieArkéa Pro Cycling Team5:56
52PATIÑO PaulaMovistar Team5:58
53PIERGIOVANNI Federica DamianaValcar - Travel & Service5:59
54DEMEY ValerieLiv Racing6:08
55CURINIER LéaArkéa Pro Cycling Team6:12
57VAN BOKHOVEN JuliaParkhotel Valkenburg6:26
58HENDERSON AnnaTeam Jumbo-Visma Women6:59
59CHURSINA AnastasiiaAlé BTC Ljubljana9:47
60BEEKHUIS TeuntjeTeam Jumbo-Visma Women9:49
61KULYNYCH OlhaDoltcini - Van Eyck - Proximus CT9:52
62MARTÍN SaraMovistar Team9:54
63VIECELI LaraCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling9:54
64NEWSOM EmilyTeam TIBCO - SVB9:57
65SCHIFF CarolinAndy Schleck - CP NVST - Immo Losch9:59
66DRUMMOND MichaelaBepink9:59
67ZABELINSKAYA OlgaCogeas - Mettler Pro Cycling Team9:59
68MEERTENS LoneLotto Soudal Ladies10:02
69CHRISTIAN AnnaDrops - Le Col s/b TEMPUR.10:08
70BUIJSMAN NinaParkhotel Valkenburg10:12
71GUDERZO TatianaAlé BTC Ljubljana10:14
72WILLIAMS GeorgiaTeam BikeExchange10:14
73ARZUFFI Alice MariaValcar - Travel & Service10:14
74KASPER RomyTeam Jumbo-Visma Women10:18
75KOREVAAR JeanneLiv Racing10:18
76LIPPERT LianeTeam DSM10:18
77QUAGLIOTTO NadiaBepink10:18
78BARNES HannahCanyon//SRAM Racing11:07
79HANSON LaurettaTrek-Segafredo Women11:11
80GAREEVA AigulCogeas - Mettler Pro Cycling Team12:13
81LACH MartaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling13:32
82JASKULSKA MartaLiv Racing13:40
83POIDEVIN SaraRally Cycling Women13:48

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.