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Armitstead takes first career Flanders win

Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels – Dolmans) rode to her third Women’s WorldTour win of 2016 Sunday, this time taking a first career Ronde van Vlaanderen victory after a late escape with Emma Johansson of Wiggle – High5.

The reigning road world champion got away with Johansson just before the Paterberg and the duo managed to hold off a chase of eight riders all the way to the finish, though only narrowly. Both riders had teammates in the group behind, and at first neither rider wanted to take it up in the finale, but Armitstead ultimately triumphed in a tightly contested sprint, a battle that was too close to call at the line. Neither rider celebrated at first, but the finish line photo confirmed Armitstead the winner.

“I knew in my gut that I had won because I knew my momentum took me over the top of her,” Armitstead said.

“Generally you know in that situation, but I didn’t dare risk it. I knew for certain when she congratulated me.”

Armitstead’s Boels – Dolmans teammate Chantal Blaak nabbed the third spot on the podium.

Top10

    • 1. Elizabeth ARMITSTEAD, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, in 3:43:27
    • 2. Emma JOHANSSON, WIGGLE HIGH5, at :00
    • 3. Chantal BLAAK, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, at :02
    • 4. Megan GUARNIER, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, at :02
    • 5. Elisa LONGO BORGHINI, WIGGLE HIGH5, at :02
    • 6. Eleonora VAN DIJK, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, at :02
    • 7. Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at :02
    • 8. Pauline FERRAND PREVOT, RABOLIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at :02
    • 9. Claudia LICHTENBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at :02
    • 10. Katarzyna NIEWIADOMA, RABOLIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at :08

 

A took parcours wore away at the peloton throughout the race, breaking the bunch into smaller groups on the climbs. A 20-rider group, with several Boels – Dolmans jerseys among the selection, led the race with around 20 kilometers left to go. Boels decided to get aggressive on the penultimate clmib.

“It came over the radio that Ellen [van Dijk] should make the race harder over Oude Kwaremont,” Armitstead said. “The race was still too much together. My plan was to go on the Paterberg, and we needed it to be more aggressive so that I could get away.”

“Ellen set a really fierce pace over the Oude Kwaremont that sort of brought everyone on their knees,” Armitstead said.

Johansson jumped clear of the bunch just after summtting the Kwaremont. Armitstead found her wheel and the pair began to open a gap

“Emma didn’t give me a single turn into Paterberg, and I thought: ‘I’ll still make this work. I’ll attack her on Paterberg’ and I tried, but I couldn’t get her off my wheel,” said Armitstead. “A couple kilometers after the Paterberg, Emma decided to work, and we worked together until the final kilometer.”

Armitstead and Johansson eyed each other for several hundred meters as they approached the finish line, but it was Johansson who opened the sprint. Armitstead had just enough left in the tank to overtake her and win the day.

“It was a poker game in the end,” Armitstead said. “I didn’t have any radio, so I didn’t know what was happening. I needed her to open the sprint before me, and she did. At that point, it’s not about who is fastest, it’s who is freshest. I was tired, and you could see that in my sprint. It was a race all the way to the line.”

“I’m delighted but it’s also a big relief,” Armitstead added. “I’ve got that win, that career goal done, and now it’s all about shifting focus. It’s a good way to start putting the spring behind me and thinking about Rio.”

Chantal Blaak led the chasers over the line to nab the third step on the podium in Flanders. Boels – Dolmans has now won all five WorldTour races so far this season, with Armitstead and Blaak sharing all the glory between themselves. Boels – Dolmans also counted two other riders inside the Flanders top 10 Sunday, with American Megan Guarnier taking fourth and Ellen van Dijk in sixth.

Tour of Flanders results

    • 1. Elizabeth ARMITSTEAD, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, in 3:43:27
    • 2. Emma JOHANSSON, WIGGLE HIGH5, at :00
    • 3. Chantal BLAAK, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, at :02
    • 4. Megan GUARNIER, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, at :02
    • 5. Elisa LONGO BORGHINI, WIGGLE HIGH5, at :02
    • 6. Eleonora VAN DIJK, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, at :02
    • 7. Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at :02
    • 8. Pauline FERRAND PREVOT, RABOLIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at :02
    • 9. Claudia LICHTENBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at :02
    • 10. Katarzyna NIEWIADOMA, RABOLIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at :08
    • 11. Gracie ELVIN, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at :59
    • 12. Jessie DAAMS, LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at :59
    • 13. Rossella RATTO, CYLANCE PRO CYCLING, at :59
    • 14. Olga ZABELINSKAYA, BEPINK, at :59
    • 15. Amanda SPRATT, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 2:00
    • 16. Coryn RIVERA, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 2:03
    • 17. Lisa BRENNAUER, CANYON SRAM RACING, at 2:03
    • 18. Joelle NUMAINVILLE, CBT, at 2:03
    • 19. Elena CECCHINI, CANYON SRAM RACING, at 2:03
    • 20. Maria Giulia CONFALONIERI, LENSWORLD-ZANNATA, at 2:03
    • 21. Amy PIETERS, WIGGLE HIGH5, at 2:03
    • 22. Malgorzta JASINSKA, ALE’ CIPOLLINI, at 2:03
    • 23. Brianna WALLE, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK, at 2:03
    • 24. Anna VAN DER BREGGEN, RABOLIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at 2:03
    • 25. Sarah ROY, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 2:03
    • 26. Lauren KITCHEN, HITEC PRODUCTS, at 3:23
    • 27. Jolien D’HOORE, WIGGLE HIGH5, at 3:26
    • 28. Lotta LEPISTÖ, CBT, at 3:26
    • 29. Sheyla GUTIERREZ RUIZ, CYLANCE PRO CYCLING, at 3:26
    • 30. Eugenia BUJAK, BTC CITY LJUBLJANA, at 3:26
    • 31. Ashleigh MOOLMAN-PASIO, CBT, at 3:26
    • 32. Sofie DE VUYST, LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at 3:26
    • 33. Lotte KOPECKY, LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at 3:26
    • 34. Tiffany CROMWELL, CANYON SRAM RACING, at 3:26
    • 35. Elizabeth WILLIAMS, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 3:26
    • 36. Anna Zita Maria STRICKER, INPA – BIANCHI, at 3:26
    • 37. Eileen ROE, LARES-WAOWDEALS WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at 3:26
    • 38. Rasa LELEIVYTE, AROMITALIA VAIANO, at 3:26
    • 39. Emilia FAHLIN, ALE’ CIPOLLINI, at 3:26
    • 40. Julie LETH, HITEC PRODUCTS, at 3:26
    • 41. Emilie MOBERG, HITEC PRODUCTS, at 3:26
    • 42. Alison JACKSON, T16, at 3:26
    • 43. Cecilie Uttrup LUDWIG, TEAM BMS BIRN, at 3:26
    • 44. Susanna ZORZI, LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at 3:26
    • 45. Linda Melanie VILLUMSEN, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 3:26
    • 46. Saartje VANDENBROUCKE, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – ETIXX, at 3:26
    • 47. Floortje MACKAIJ, TEAM LIV-PLANTUR, at 3:26
    • 48. Lucinda BRAND, RABOLIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at 3:26
    • 49. Thalita DE JONG, RABOLIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at 3:26
    • 50. Christine MAJERUS, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, at 3:26
    • 51. Valerie DEMEY, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – ETIXX, at 3:26
    • 52. Kaat HANNES, LENSWORLD-ZANNATA, at 3:26
    • 53. Joanne KIESANOWSKI, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK, at 3:26
    • 54. Kelly VAN DEN STEEN, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – ETIXX, at 3:26
    • 55. Leah KIRCHMANN, TEAM LIV-PLANTUR, at 3:26
    • 56. Polona BATAGELJ, BTC CITY LJUBLJANA, at 3:26
    • 57. Audrey CORDON, WIGGLE HIGH5, at 3:26
    • 58. Amélie RIVAT, POITOU-CHARENTES.FUTUROSCOPE.86, at 3:26
    • 59. Flavia OLIVEIRA, LENSWORLD-ZANNATA, at 3:26
    • 60. Marie VILMANN, TEAM BMS BIRN, at 3:26
    • 61. Nicole BRÄNDLI, SERVETTO FOOTON, at 3:26
    • 62. Katie HALL, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 3:26
    • 63. Evelyn STEVENS, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, at 3:26
    • 64. Alena AMIALIUSIK, CANYON SRAM RACING, at 3:26
    • 65. Kaitlin ANTONNEAU, T16, at 3:26
    • 66. Alison TETRICK, CYLANCE PRO CYCLING, at 3:26
    • 67. Anna PLICHTA, BTC CITY LJUBLJANA, at 3:26
    • 68. Monique VAN DE REE, LARES-WAOWDEALS WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at 4:12
    • 69. Lenore PIPES, BEPINK, at 4:14
    • 70. Clara KOPPENBURG, CBT, at 4:14
    • 71. Chanella STOUGJE, PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 4:14
    • 72. Janneke ENSING, PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 4:14
    • 73. Carlee TAYLOR, TEAM LIV-PLANTUR, at 4:14
    • 74. Marta BASTIANELLI, ALE’ CIPOLLINI, at 4:14
    • 75. Laura MASSEY, DROPS CYCLING TEAM, at 4:41
    • 76. Jennifer GEORGE, DROPS CYCLING TEAM, at 4:41
    • 77. Jessica CERRA, T16, at 4:41
    • 78. Alice Maria ARZUFFI, LENSWORLD-ZANNATA, at 4:41
    • 79. Sharon LAWS, PODIUM AMBITION PRO CYCLING p/b CLUB LA SANTA, at 4:41
    • 80. Tetiana RIABCHENKO, INPA – BIANCHI, at 5:43
    • 81. Tatiana GUDERZO, HITEC PRODUCTS, at 6:10
    • 82. Soraya PALADIN, TOP GIRLS FASSA BORTOLO, at 6:10
    • 83. Nina KESSLER, LENSWORLD-ZANNATA, at 7:03
    • 84. Leah THOMAS, T16, at 7:03
    • 85. Jip VAN DEN BOS, PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 7:03
    • 86. Esra TROMP, PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 7:03
    • 87. Alexis RYAN, CANYON SRAM RACING, at 7:03
    • 88. Anouska KOSTER, RABOLIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at 7:03
    • 89. Špela KERN, BTC CITY LJUBLJANA, at 7:03
    • 90. Rozanne SLIK, TEAM LIV-PLANTUR, at 7:03
    • 91. Sofia ARREOLA, T16, at 8:17
    • 92. Ilona HOEKSMA, PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM, at 8:17
    • 93. Diana PEÑUELA, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 8:17
    • 94. Alicia GONZALEZ BLANCO, LTK, at 8:17
    • 95. Iris SLAPPENDEL, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 8:17
    • 96. Chloe HOSKING, WIGGLE HIGH5, at 8:17
    • 97. Oxana KOZONCHUK, LENSWORLD-ZANNATA, at 8:17
    • 98. Sofia BERTIZZOLO, ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM, at 8:17
    • 99. Lex ALBRECHT, BEPINK, at 11:15
    • 100. Loren ROWNEY, ORICA – GreenEDGE, at 11:15
    • 101. Jesse VANDENBULCKE, LARES-WAOWDEALS WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at 11:15
    • 102. Anna POTOKINA, SERVETTO FOOTON, at 12:02
    • 103. Ilaria SANGUINETI, BEPINK, at 12:35
    • 104. Silvia VALSECCHI, BEPINK, at 14:00
    • 105. Alba TERUEL RIBES, LTK, at 14:00
    • 106. Katia RAGUSA, SERVETTO FOOTON, at 15:53
    • 107. Rachele BARBIERI, CYLANCE PRO CYCLING, at 15:56
    • 108. Sara PENTON, LARES-WAOWDEALS WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at 15:56
    • 109. Lauren KOMANSKI, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK, at 15:56
    • 110. Elena FRANCHI, AROMITALIA VAIANO, at 15:56
    • DNF Natalie VAN GOGH, PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM
    • DNF Louise NORMAN HANSEN, TEAM BMS BIRN
    • DNF Margriet Helena KLOPPENBURG, TEAM BMS BIRN
    • DNF Jermaine POST, PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM
    • DNF Pauliena ROOIJAKKERS, PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM
    • DNF Barbara GUARISCHI, CANYON SRAM RACING
    • DNF Stephanie POHL, CBT
    • DNF Charlotte BECKER, HITEC PRODUCTS
    • DNF Janicke GUNVALDSEN, HITEC PRODUCTS
    • DNF Valentina SCANDOLARA, CYLANCE PRO CYCLING
    • DNF Lauren STEPHENS, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK
    • DNF Emily COLLINS, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK
    • DNF Lauren HALL, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK
    • DNF Sara MUSTONEN, TEAM LIV-PLANTUR
    • DNF Julia SOEK, TEAM LIV-PLANTUR
    • DNF Annie EWART, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM
    • DNF Roxane FOURNIER, POITOU-CHARENTES.FUTUROSCOPE.86
    • DNF Greta RICHIOUD, POITOU-CHARENTES.FUTUROSCOPE.86
    • DNF Aude BIANNIC, POITOU-CHARENTES.FUTUROSCOPE.86
    • DNF Coralie DEMAY, POITOU-CHARENTES.FUTUROSCOPE.86
    • DNF Eugénie DUVAL, POITOU-CHARENTES.FUTUROSCOPE.86
    • DNF Jelena ERIC, BTC CITY LJUBLJANA
    • DNF Ursa PINTAR, BTC CITY LJUBLJANA
    • DNF Tereza MEDVEDOVA, BEPINK
    • DNF Tatiana ANTOSHINA, ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM
    • DNF KSENIIA DOBRYNINA, ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM
    • DNF Natalya SOKOVNINA, ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM
    • DNF Ane SANTESTEBAN GONZALEZ, ALE’ CIPOLLINI
    • DNF Anna TREVISI, ALE’ CIPOLLINI
    • DNF Dalia MUCCIOLI, ALE’ CIPOLLINI
    • DNF Lieselot DECROIX, LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES
    • DNF Eva BUURMAN, PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM
    • DNF Kelly DRUYTS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – ETIXX
    • DNF Gilke CROKET, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – ETIXX
    • DNF Jessy DRUYTS, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – ETIXX
    • DNF Abby-Mae PARKINSON, SERVETTO FOOTON
    • DNF Maria Vittoria SPEROTTO, SERVETTO FOOTON
    • DNF Molly MEYVISCH, SERVETTO FOOTON
    • DNF Lara VIECELI, INPA – BIANCHI
    • DNF Ana Maria COVRIG, INPA – BIANCHI
    • DNF Sara OLSSON, INPA – BIANCHI
    • DNF Claudia CRETTI, INPA – BIANCHI
    • DNF Monia BACCAILLE, AROMITALIA VAIANO
    • DNF Beatrice BARTELLONI, AROMITALIA VAIANO
    • DNF Alessia BULLERI, AROMITALIA VAIANO
    • DNF Alessia MARTINI, AROMITALIA VAIANO
    • DNF Shana VAN GLABEKE, LARES-WAOWDEALS WOMEN CYCLING TEAM
    • DNF Sarah RIJKES, LARES-WAOWDEALS WOMEN CYCLING TEAM
    • DNF Gloria RODRIGUEZ SANCHEZ, LTK
    • DNF Rocio Del Alba GARCIA MARTINEZ, LTK
    • DNF Aurore VERHOEVEN, LTK
    • DNF Maria del Mar BONNIN PALOU, LTK
    • DNF Sara HEADLEY, PODIUM AMBITION PRO CYCLING p/b CLUB LA SANTA
    • DNF Gabriella SHAW, PODIUM AMBITION PRO CYCLING p/b CLUB LA SANTA
    • DNF Grace GARNER, PODIUM AMBITION PRO CYCLING p/b CLUB LA SANTA
    • DNF Elizabeth-Jane HARRIS, PODIUM AMBITION PRO CYCLING p/b CLUB LA SANTA
    • DNF Claire ROSE, PODIUM AMBITION PRO CYCLING p/b CLUB LA SANTA
    • DNF Camilla MØLLEBRO, TEAM BMS BIRN
    • DNF Pernille MATHIESEN, TEAM BMS BIRN
    • DNF Christina SIGGAARD, TEAM BMS BIRN
    • DNF Tine RASCH HANSEN, TEAM BMS BIRN
    • DNF Irene BITTO, TOP GIRLS FASSA BORTOLO
    • DNF Nicole DAL SANTO, TOP GIRLS FASSA BORTOLO
    • DNF Nadia QUAGLIOTTO, TOP GIRLS FASSA BORTOLO
    • DNF Elena LEONARDI, TOP GIRLS FASSA BORTOLO
    • DNF Asja PALADIN, TOP GIRLS FASSA BORTOLO
    • DNF Rebecca DURRELL, DROPS CYCLING TEAM
    • DNF Lucy Shaw, DROPS CYCLING TEAM
    • DNF Tamiko BUTLER, DROPS CYCLING TEAM
    • DNF Sophie COLEMAN, DROPS CYCLING TEAM

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