Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Annemiek van Vleuten outkicks Demi Vollering in two-up sprint

Dutch riders sweep the podium as Lorena Wiebes takes third in cobblestone opener.

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.

Annemiek van Vluten (Movistar Team) showed her power to storm a two-up sprint against Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) and win the women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

The 39-year-old former world champion made the race her own, attacking on the Muur-Kapelmuur before riding across to the fractured breakaway.

Vollering was the only rider able to respond to van Vleuten’s attack and was the only rider able to hold her up the final Bosberg climb as they caught the remains of the breakaway.

In the flat 13 kilometers to the finish, van Vleuten drove the duo to build an unassailable lead of over a minute.

The Dutchwoman then led out the sprint into the final 250 meters and held off the challenge of her breakaway companion for victory.

“It’s a really nice one especially as it was a team effort after the girls did the lead-out into the Muur-Kapelmuur,” van Vleuten said.

“That makes it even more beautiful and to beat somebody who is on paper faster than me on my wheel [Vollering] and then still beat her … It’s nice to start the season like this,” she added.

The opening women’s spring classic saw a full field of 140 riders compete over 128 kilometers between Ghent and Ninove.

Five cobbled sections early in the race were combined with nine climbs to wear down riders before the final run-in to Ninove.

The short distance between the climbs would be key with the Marlboroughstraat, Biesestraat, Leberg, Berendries, Elverenberg-Vossenhol, Muur-Kapelmuur, and Bosberg all coming within 27 tough kilometers.

However, the Bosberg concludes with 13 kilometers remaining giving sprinters an opportunity to claw back any breakaway riders.

Last year, the now-retired Anna van der Breggen rode clear to win by 23 seconds with classics specialist Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team) winning a group sprint behind.

Norsgaard was looking to go one better this season in her opening race of the season. However, she faced tough competition from a stacked field including world champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo), Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx), and van Vleuten.

An early move of six riders had a gap of three minutes as they hit the first climbs including Emily Newsom (EF Education-Tibco-SVB), Svenja Betz (IBCT), Kylie Waterreus (Lotto Soudal Ladies), Fien Delbaere ( Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team), Anastasia Carbonari (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Laura Tomasi (UAE Team ADQ).

They were caught and replaced by four riders consisting of Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) joined at the front by Marlen Reusser (Team SD Worx), Liane Lippert (Team DSM), and European champion Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo).

With van Dijk part of the four-rider move with 30 seconds advantage, Trek-Segafredo was happy to block the bunch and allow the move to progress which was aided by crashes in the bunch behind.

Hitting the decisive Mur-Kapelmuur the breakaway had a gap of 45 seconds on the peloton with 22 kilometers remaining.

Heading towards the climb with gradients of 19 percent it was Movistar Team and FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope who took control of the bunch to reduce the gap.

The race exploded on the Muur-Kapelmuur with the breakaway reduced to three riders.

Vollering and van Vluten attacked catching a dropped Henderson and going in pursuit of the remaining leaders.

Fellow Team SD Worx rider Kopecky tried to follow the move but was slightly distanced over the top of the climb.

Van Vluten caught the breakaway before the Bosberg and then launched a stinging attack which only Vollering was able to follow as they went over the top with a flat 13 kilometers to home.

The duo was 20 seconds clear with 10 kilometers remaining as they attempted to fend off the chasing group behind. Van Vluten was using her power to put pressure on Vollering inside the final eight kilometers with the leading duo having a 46-second gap on the chasing group behind.

Inside the final five kilometers, the leading duo had a gap of more than a minute over a growing group of chasers that included Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope).

Coming out of the final corner, Van Vluten attacked and led into the final 250 meters, and despite Vollering coming alongside her, rival the Dutch rider hung on for the victory.

Behind the chasers had been caught by the bunch with Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) beating world champ Balsamo in the sprint for third, some 25 seconds behind.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad WE Results

1VAN VLEUTEN AnnemiekMovistar Team3:25:54
2VOLLERING DemiTeam SD Worx0:00
3WIEBES LorenaTeam DSM0:25
4BALSAMO ElisaTrek - Segafredo0:25
5COPPONI ClaraFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope0:25
6NORSGAARD EmmaMovistar Team0:25
7HENDERSON AnnaTeam Jumbo-Visma0:25
8CONFALONIERI Maria GiuliaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling0:25
10NORMAN LETH JulieUno-X Pro Cycling Team0:25
11SWINKELS KarlijnTeam Jumbo-Visma0:25
12ROSEMAN-GANNON RubyTeam BikeExchange - Jayco0:25
13YSLAND Anne DortheUno-X Pro Cycling Team0:25
14BORGSTRÖM JuliaNXTG by Experza0:25
16CONSONNI ChiaraValcar - Travel & Service0:25
17VAN DIJK EllenTrek - Segafredo0:25
18MACKAIJ FloortjeTeam DSM0:25
19MEIJERING MareilleMultum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team0:25
20VANDENBULCKE JesseLe Col - Wahoo0:25
21BORGHESI LetiziaEF Education-TIBCO-SVB0:25
22PERSICO SilviaValcar - Travel & Service0:25
23KOREVAAR JeanneLiv Racing Xstra0:25
24KOSTER AnouskaTeam Jumbo-Visma0:25
25BAKER GeorgiaTeam BikeExchange - Jayco0:25
26DYGERT ChloeCanyon//SRAM Racing0:25
27KOPECKY LotteTeam SD Worx0:25
28BOSSUYT ShariCanyon//SRAM Racing0:25
29LIPPERT LianeTeam DSM0:25
30BUJAK EugeniaUAE Team ADQ0:25
31BREDEWOLD MischaParkhotel Valkenburg0:25
32BROWN GraceFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope0:25
33BARNES AliceCanyon//SRAM Racing0:25
34HOLDEN ElizabethLe Col - Wahoo0:25
35VALLIERES MagdeleineEF Education-TIBCO-SVB0:25
36REUSSER MarlenTeam SD Worx0:35
37DEMEY ValerieLiv Racing Xstra0:35
38VAN DEN BROEK-BLAAK ChantalTeam SD Worx0:35
39GUAZZINI VittoriaFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope0:35
40STULTIENS SabrinaLiv Racing Xstra0:35
41NIEWIADOMA KatarzynaCanyon//SRAM Racing0:35
42CECCHINI ElenaTeam SD Worx0:35
43LONGO BORGHINI ElisaTrek - Segafredo0:51
44ALZINI MartinaCofidis Women Team2:13
45GEORGI PfeifferTeam DSM2:13
46VAN DER DUIN MaikeLe Col - Wahoo2:13
47KOCH FranziskaTeam DSM2:15
48DE CLERCQ KatrijnLotto Soudal Ladies2:15
49JOUNIER LucieArkéa Pro Cycling Team2:15
50ANDERSEN SusanneUno-X Pro Cycling Team2:15
51KASPER RomyTeam Jumbo-Visma2:15
52GÅSKJENN IngvildTeam Coop - Hitec Products2:15
53VAN DEN BOS JipTeam Jumbo-Visma2:15
54GERRITSE FemkeParkhotel Valkenburg2:15
55DUVAL EugénieFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope2:15
56HOSKING ChloeTrek - Segafredo2:15
57BEEKHUIS TeuntjeTeam Jumbo-Visma2:19
58GASPARRINI Eleonora CamillaValcar - Travel & Service2:19
59PATUELLI AlessiaUAE Team ADQ2:19
60FAULKNER KristenTeam BikeExchange - Jayco2:19
61TOWERS AliceLe Col - Wahoo2:19
62BERTEAU VictoireCofidis Women Team2:19
63BARNES HannahUno-X Pro Cycling Team2:19
64GONZÁLEZ AliciaMovistar Team2:19
65CORDON-RAGOT AudreyTrek - Segafredo2:19
66SANTESTEBAN AneTeam BikeExchange - Jayco2:19
67GROSSETÊTE MaëlleFDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope2:19
68FORTIN ValentineCofidis Women Team2:23
69BRAAM DaniqueBingoal Casino - Chevalmeire - Van Eyck Sport4:22
70ANDERSSON CarolineTeam Coop - Hitec Products4:22
71VAN 'T GELOOF MarjoleinLe Col - Wahoo4:22
72PILOTE FORTIN GabrielleCofidis Women Team4:22
73RIJNBEEK MaudNXTG by Experza4:22
74TEUTENBERG Lea LinCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling4:22
75TOMASI LauraUAE Team ADQ4:22
76TREVISI AnnaUAE Team ADQ4:22
77CAMPBELL TenielTeam BikeExchange - Jayco4:22
78KNIGHT JosieLotto Soudal Ladies5:34
79TON QuintyLiv Racing Xstra5:34
80WATERREUS KylieLotto Soudal Ladies5:34
81GEURTS MijntjeLotto Soudal Ladies5:34
82DOCX MiekeLotto Soudal Ladies5:34
83LACH MartaCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling5:34
84KUMIEGA KarolinaValcar - Travel & Service5:34
85OTTESTAD Mie BjørndalUno-X Pro Cycling Team5:34
86JONGERIUS ClaudiaBingoal Casino - Chevalmeire - Van Eyck Sport5:34
87SHARPE AliceIBCT5:34
88NEWSOM EmilyEF Education-TIBCO-SVB5:34
89PARKINSON Abby MaeLotto Soudal Ladies5:34
90KESSLER NinaTeam BikeExchange - Jayco5:34
91KOOL CharlotteTeam DSM5:34
92MASETTI GaiaNXTG by Experza5:34
93BIANNIC AudeMovistar Team5:37
94MARTÍN SaraMovistar Team5:37
95GUARISCHI BarbaraMovistar Team5:37
96LAURANCE TyphaineArkéa Pro Cycling Team5:37
97KLEIN LisaCanyon//SRAM Racing5:37
98MEERTENS LoneNXTG by Experza5:37
99ALLIN PaulineArkéa Pro Cycling Team5:37
100TACEY AprilLe Col - Wahoo7:53
101VAN DER HULST AmberLiv Racing Xstra7:53
102NELSON JosieTeam Coop - Hitec Products7:53
103KOERNER RebeccaUno-X Pro Cycling Team9:49
104ROY SarahCanyon//SRAM Racing9:49
105PLUIMERS IlseNXTG by Experza9:49
106VIECELI LaraCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling9:49
107LE DEUNFF Marie-MorganeArkéa Pro Cycling Team9:49
108BÄCKSTEDT ElynorTrek - Segafredo9:49
109VAN HOUTUM CélineMultum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team9:49
110VAN DER WOLF RosalieParkhotel Valkenburg9:49
111VAN ROOIJEN AnneParkhotel Valkenburg9:49
112RICHIOUD GretaArkéa Pro Cycling Team9:49
113VAN DE VEL SaraIBCT9:49
114SCHWEINBERGER KathrinCeratizit-WNT Pro Cycling9:49
115UNEKEN LonnekeTeam SD Worx9:49
116DE ZOETE MylèneNXTG by Experza9:49
117SANGUINETI IlariaValcar - Travel & Service9:49
118CARBONARI AnastasiaValcar - Travel & Service9:49

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

Trending on Velo

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.