Dwars door Vlaanderen: Marianne Vos outsprints Shirin van Anrooij after an impressive ride

Visma-Lease a Bike leader able to pace Van Anrooij to the finish and dispatch her compatriot in the sprint, as Lidl-Trek put the hammer down on SD Worx-Protime

Clock17:05, Wednesday 27th March 2024
Marianne Vos celebrates triumphantly after her first Dwars door Vlaanderen victory

© Getty Images

Marianne Vos celebrates triumphantly after her first Dwars door Vlaanderen victory

Marianne Vos of Visma-Lease a Bike took a first career victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen, beating Shirin van Anrooij (Lidl-Trek) in a two-up sprint at the end of Wednesday's race.

The pair had broken away in the final kilometres from an elite group of six and despite Van Anrooij ultimately refusing to work with Vos, the Dutchwoman had the strength to bring the duo to the finish and win the eventual sprint.

Behind Vos and Van Anrooij, Letizia Paternoster (Liv AlUla Jayco) won the sprint for third from the group of chasers that included Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime), Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek).

After a race neutralisation resulted in a few of the day's climbs being removed from the route, it looked for a while as though Dwars door Vlaanderen would be decided in a bunch sprint. But Lidl-Trek were determined to make the race difficult and lit up the race with 29km to ride.

Their attacks drew out an elite group of six who would go on to decide the victory, whilst Movistar and UAE Team ADQ counted their losses in the forlorn peloton behind.

Van Anrooij was ultimately the rider to make the decisive attack a little over 10km from the finish, with Vos making the wise decision to follow her compatriot's wheel.

Sleepy start and race neutralisation

Unlike the men's Dwars door Vlaanderen, which appeared chaotic throughout and resulted in some big implications for Sunday's Tour of Flanders, the women's peloton enjoyed a rather relaxed ride for the most part on Wednesday afternoon.

Setting out from Waregem on their 130km march that surrounded the town, there were no real attacks for the first half of the race. In fact, the only event of note was a lengthy period of standstill as the race was neutralised.

A crash between a team car from the men's race and a commissaire car - which reportedly ended up in a ditch - forced the women's Dwars door Vlaanderen to be neutralised and for the riders to wait around for the flag to be dropped on proceedings once more.

As a result of the incident, the climbs of the Knokteberg-Trieu and Hotond were removed from the parcours, as the organisers re-routed the event. This made for an easier day in the saddle and as the race came into its final 30km, no attacks had stuck and a bunch sprint was looking likely.

However, Lidl-Trek were keen to make the race hard.

Lidl-Trek force Lotte Kopecky into a lengthy chase

Dropping the hammer with a little under 30km to ride were Elisa Longo Borghini and Lucinda Brand of Lidl-Trek, with their teammate Shirin van Anrooij happy to come along for the ride. The trio burst off the front of the peloton and produced the scarce sight of SD Worx-Protime missing the move.

Their leaders Lotte Kopecky and Demi Vollering scrambled to regain ground but were forced to watch Lidl-Trek's elite group move off the front of the race. Longo Borghini and co were joined by Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck), Marianne Vos (Visma-Lease a Bike), Letizia Paternoster (Liv AlUla Jayco) and Emma Norsgaard (Movistar).

Read more: Emma Norsgaard blog: Missing splits and taking risks

Brand was soon distanced as Pieterse and Longo Borghini set a searing pace on the front, with both riders determined to keep the pressure on SD Worx-Protime. The Dutch squad were very much caught out and sensing the race leaving her behind, Kopecky was forced to attack from the peloton alone in pursuit.

It took nigh on 3km for Kopecky to bridge across, but bridge across she did. As Kopecky made the catch, Norsgaard was forced out of the back, unable to keep pace.

Meanwhile, in the peloton Vollering capped off a dramatic day by puncturing with 25km to ride. The Dutchwoman had to be tended to by a Shimano mechanic and any hopes she had of taking the win were dashed, just hours after it was confirmed that she would be leaving SD Worx-Protime at the end of the season.

Read more:

Movistar and UAE Team ADQ led the peloton, but their chase was futile and heading into the final 20km, the front group of six had a 30-second advantage. It became obvious that the victory would be decided amongst Kopecky, Vos, Longo Borghini, Van Anrooij, Paternoster and Pieterse.

Van Anrooij and Vos go for glory

Lidl-Trek used the numbers to their advantage in the final 12km, with Longo Borghini resting up at the back of the front group as her teammate Van Anrooij went on the attack. The Dutchwoman was joined by her compatriot Vos, with the pair taking an advantage of 11 seconds heading onto the final categorised climb, Nokere (0.6km at 4.4%).

Over the last cobblestone sector, the Herlegemstraat, Longo Borghini expertly slotted herself in the middle of the four chasers and disrupted their efforts, whilst Vos and Van Anrooij headed into the final 5km with a 20-second advantage.

Sensing weakness in the group, Longo Borghini made a bold move to attack herself with 4.6km to ride. It seemed a strange move at first, but it soon became apparent that Van Anrooij had relayed the information back to her teammate that she did not fancy her chances against Vos in a two-up sprint.

Out front, Van Anrooij forced Vos to do all the work in pace-setting and the former world champion was able to answer the call. Despite Kopecky and Longo Borghini's best efforts, the group of four could not close the gap.

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Race Results

1

nl flag

VOS Marianne

Team Visma | Lease a Bike

2H 52' 08"

2

nl flag

VAN ANROOIJ Shirin

Lidl-Trek

"

3

it flag

PATERNOSTER Letizia

Liv AlUla Jayco

+ 19"

4

be flag

KOPECKY Lotte

Team SD Worx-Protime

"

5

nl flag

PIETERSE Puck

Fenix-Deceuninck

"

6

it flag

LONGO BORGHINI Elisa

Lidl-Trek

"

7

it flag

CONSONNI Chiara

UAE Team ADQ

+ 51"

8

cu flag

SIERRA Arlenis

Movistar Team

"

9

nl flag

BRAND Lucinda

Lidl-Trek

"

10

be flag

DE WILDE Julie

Fenix-Deceuninck

"

Provided by FirstCycling

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