Anna van der Breggen takes fifth victory at Fleche Wallonne
Apr 24 2019 08:20 pm CET

Anna van der Breggen takes fifth victory at Fleche Wallonne
Anna van der Breggen takes fifth victory at Fleche Wallonne
Photo of Anna van der Breggen by Boels-Dolmans

Boels-Dolmans' Anna van der Breggen has taken the victory of La Fleche Wallonne. The World Champion won the race for the fifth time in her career.

The Ardennes classic was 118.5 kilometres long and took the riders through a rolling route that included seven climbs, including two ascents of the Mur de Huy. The day started with a lot of wind and several attacks by riders of Ale-Cipollini, Movistar and Tibco, among many others.

The first lasting attack came from Parkhotel Valkenburg's Roxane Knetemann, who build a gap of around 45 seconds with the peloton but was caught ten kilometres later. Moments later a group of six riders that included names like Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar), Diana Peñuela (Ale-Cipollini) and Marie-Soleil Blais (Astana), created a new breakaway and got an advantage of more than a minute over the pack.

The climbs and the speed caused breaks in front and in the pack, but things eventually got calmer, while CCC-Liv and Mitchelton-Scott put the rhythm in the peloton to control the gap with the breakaway. The last rider of the escape group was caught with 42 kilometres to go and ten kilometres later, Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) made a move at the Core de Cherave but it was repelled soon by the rest.

At the first climb of the Mur de Huy, the pack was already slimmed down and there some more riders were left struggling behind. With 20 kilometres to go Jeanne Korevaar (CCC-Liv), Elisa Balsamo (Valcar-Cylance), Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) and Olga Shekel (Astana) broke free while teams like Mitchelton-Scott tried to reel them back in.

The riders were caught with eleven kilometres to go and the last ten kilometres were full of action. On the Cote de Cherave, the winner of the 2019 Amstel Gold Race Kasia Niewiadoma launched an attack and a pack of favourites that included Anna van der Breggen, Marianne Vos, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig went on to catch her an very soon succeeded.

The next rider to try her luck was Mitchelton-Scott's Amanda Spratt but she was also caught soon. Next, Sunweb's Floortje Mackaij went solo but the difficult last climb of the Mur de Huy allowed riders like Niewiadoma, Annemiek van Vleuten, Annika Langvad and Van der Breggen to get to her.

The World Champion showed her good legs by increasing the pace at the last moment and crossing the finish line by herself. Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) and Langvad (Boels-Dolmans) completed the day's podium.

This is the fifth victory for the Dutch rider. She already got the win in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.






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