Chantal Blaak emerged victorious at the 2018 Women's Amstel Gold Race.

Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) emerged victorious from a select group at the 2018 Amstel Gold Race. The world champion beat Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) and Amanda Spratt (Michelton-Scott) in a three-up sprint to win her home country’s biggest race.

The Dutchwoman leveraged her dominant Boels team to make it into a breakaway of eight riders with 55km remaining in the 114.9km race. She comfortably followed attacks on the final ascent of the Cauberg, and made it the final kilometer as part of the leading trio. Brand opened up the sprint first, but Blaak answered and convincingly won the sprint to the line.

Blaak appeared full of confidence in the final few kilometers. She had tested the peloton with an attack on the Cauberg with 20km to go and liked what she saw. “I wanted to test my legs and found out that I was maybe the strongest rider in the break. Then I knew that the others would have to beat me today and that I could trust my sprint.”

The group of eight was splintered when Blaak attacked the penultimate climb of the Cauberg. She was followed by the American Alexis Ryan (Canyon-SRAM), and Australian Spratt. The trio was caught as they began the final lap by Brand, Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Wiggle High5), and Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance).

Markus made a move on the Bemelerberg, but was immediately closed down by Blaak. In the Peloton behind, the Sunweb and Boels-Dolmans squads moved to the front to neutralize the chase and ensure the breakaway would make it to the line.

Lotta Lepisto (Cervélo Bigla) and Bronzini, who were both distanced by Blaak’s attack, clawed their way back to the front group right as the group began the final climb up the Cauberg.

On the final ascent of the Cauberg, Brand opened up the attacks but was closely marked by Blaak and Spratt. The trio would continue to trade jabs over the top but came into the final kilometer together.

Spratt went to the front to push the pace in an effort to hold off the chasing Ryan and Markus and secure her podium place. Brand launched her sprint from Blaak’s wheel at 250 meters from the line, but Blaak countered immediately. The Sunweb rider couldn’t come around and Blaak went on to win by an impressive margin. Spratt held on for third.

Ryan and Markus finished a few seconds back to round out of the top five. Ryan’s fifth place gives the young American yet another solid result during a breakout season. The win also sees Blaak moves into the lead of the UCI Women’s WorldTour.

Full Results