Classic Brugge-De Panne women: Pfeiffer Georgi soloes away from Lorena Wiebes, Elisa Balsamo to win

Team DSM lights up the Belgian WorldTour race, with American rider Megan Jastrab playing a key part in the victory.

Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

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Pfeiffer Georgi made the most of some top teamwork from Team DSM to solo away from an elite group of riders to claim her first-ever Women’s WorldTour win at the Classic Brugge-De Panne.

Georgi took over a minute on the chasers by the finish line, thanks in part to a lackluster chase from behind.

Lorena Wiebes and Elisa Balsamo went toe-to-toe for the final podium spots in a sprint from the first chase group. Wiebes launched her sprint first, perhaps out of frustration of letting the win get away, only to be overhauled by Balsamo shortly before the line.

Georgi’s teammate Megan Jastrab set the move up, going on her own attack before the Brit countered inside the final 10 kilometers.

“I’m so happy. It’s my first WorldTour win, pretty unexpected for me. We came into today with the plan to race aggressively and the whole team did that, and I was just finishing off a great team effort,” Georgi said. “Everybody knows where it’s going to split. We tried before we turned into De Moeren to just try and thin out the bunch a bit, so it was really hard going into that. Me and Megan were in the front split and then in the last lap we tried again to make it even smaller so we could race.”

“We knew we couldn’t come to the finish with any of them [Wiebes and Balsamo] because they’re really fast, so we just knew that we were going to attack. Megan attacked first and then blocked from behind and I just went as hard as I could.”

“My legs were feeling pretty tired at that point so I was just giving it everything. The DS shouting in my ear all the time really helped and it was head down until the line.”

As is often the case, the race split up through the notorious De Moeren section at around 60km to go where crosswinds are almost guaranteed. A group of eight riders made it into the front split with most of the top sprinters in the move, including Balsamo, Wiebes, Jastrab, Shari Bossuyt, Amalie Dideriksen, Alice Barnes, and Julie De Wilde.

Barnes and De Wilde were eliminated from the break as the group passed through De Moeren the next time around with Barnes touching the wheel of the rider in front of her and going down very hard. De Wilde had nowhere to go and went over the top of the stricken Human Powered Health rider.

Two more would be dropped from the group eventually, leaving it to six riders to duke it out in the end. Team DSM was the only team that had two riders up front and they made the most of their numbers in the closing kilometers.

When Georgi made her move, there was little initial reaction from the others in the group. There were a few small attempts to attack out of the chase group and track her down, but none of them got very far.

Wiebes tried to get her companions to work with her to bring back Georgi, but nobody was going to help out one of the fastest women in the world and she raised her arm in frustration. It was the final nail in the coffin for the chase that had never really looked like it would bring back the Team DSM rider.

Georgi had plenty of time to celebrate what is so far the biggest win of her young career.

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