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Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) won the women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday.
Van der Breggen out-kicked Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans) to win the 120km race, while van Dijk’s teammate Lizzie Armitstead rounded out the podium in third.
Van Dijk attacked on the Molenberg with 35km to go, and van der Breggen went with her. Behind them, a select chase formed, containing 2014 winner Amy Pieters (Liv-Plantur) and Armitstead, among others.
After that, said van der Breggen, it was just a matter of waiting.
“I didn’t have any idea that behind us the group was coming back to within 30 seconds. So we weren’t nervous,” she said.
“I was the one for team Rabobank to be in the front and I was in the front. [Director] Koos Moerenhout was counting on me for the sprint.”
On the Lange Munte, the last cobbled stretch of the day, the pair had more than a minute over the chase group. And in the sprint, it was van der Breggen who had the edge.
“On paper I’m faster, but I was surprised here before, three years ago, by Loes Gunnewijk,” said van Dijk. “But I told myself ‘I can win the sprint, it’s okay, it’s with Anna, I can have this. But remember 2012, don’t underestimate the finish.’”
But when the Rabo rider went, van Dijk said she didn’t have the legs to follow.